Winds Spur More Fire Evacuations in N. California

Winds Spur More Fire Evacuations in N. California

The Carr wildfire is now set to be the largest loss of the 2018 California wildfire season and looks certain to become a billion dollar loss, which will put it among the top ten most costly USA wildfires ever for the insurance and reinsurance industry.

Crews battling deadly Northern California wildfires are bracing for a weekend of windy, hot weather that could drive the flames into new areas and threaten more homes. It has destroyed 88 structures and forced the evacuation of 14,000 residents, including in the towns of Nice and Lucerne about 93 miles (150 km) north of San Francisco, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).

The National Weather Service has issued warnings for critical fire weather conditions Friday and Saturday as a series of dry low-pressure systems pass through the region, bringing gusts up to 35 miles per hour (56 kph) in the afternoon.

California fire officials said Saturday that the two fires about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north grew to nearly 250 square miles (648 kilometers). Fourteen homes and 24 other structures have been destroyed, and eight other homes have been damaged, according to Cal Fire.

Firefighters have managed to contain 41 percent of that blaze and authorities are allowing some people who had evacuated to return, Cal Fire said.

A wildfire churning among mountain towns in Mendocino County in California mushroomed into the largest in the state on Friday, threatening 9,200 homes, as worn out firefighters battled gusting winds fanning multiple other blazes.

Officials have not said how the other three firefighters died fighting blazes near Yosemite and Redding.

Gov. Jerry Brown at a press conference on August 1 warned that California may be in trouble if these mega fires continue to ravage the state.

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The Carr Fire tears through Shasta, Calif., Thursday, July 26, 2018.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which uses acres to describe fire size, said the blaze had blackened almost 206 square miles (533 square kilometers).

"This catastrophe hits very close to home for some of the Alameda County Firefighters Local 55 because some of its members came to the ACFD after working for the Redding Fire Department", the association said on the GoFundMe site.

The fire has reached into remote areas of the country's third-oldest national park.

In Sierra Nevada, firefighters achieved 41 percent containment of a 115-square-mile (298-square-kilometer) forest fire that has shut down Yosemite Valley and other adjacent portions of Yosemite National Park at what is normally the height of summer tourism.

A California bulldozer operator almost slipped off a steep mountain trail three times before his vehicle finally rolled into a ravine and fatally crushed him.

Varney was a 10-year veteran.

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