Deadly California blaze spawned destructive fire tornado

07 August, 2018, 14:49 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Credit PA

A seventh person died in a northern California wildfire on Saturday, as a couple of other fast-growing wildfires in the state expanded by more than 25 percent overnight and continued to spread.

Ayeta is the seventh person to die in the huge blaze that has been burning for two weeks near Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft continue battling the flames about 100 miles (160 kilometres) south of the OR state line. Since the wildland fire is burning in a remote area about 15 miles east of the city of Covelo, the few residents living in the area affected have been ordered to evacuate. The fires are threatening about 9,000 homes.

Firefighters battling deadly and destructive blazes in Northern California faced worsening weather conditions on Friday after a record-breaking fire tornado last week.

That blaze has killed two firefighters and five civilians and destroyed more than 1,000 homes.

Firefighters by Saturday night had managed to contain 41 percent of the Carr blaze, measured at 145,000 acres (58,680 hectares), and authorities were allowing some evacuees to return, Cal Fire said.

"This is a particularly risky situation with extremely low humidity and high winds". The other, the River Fire, has burned nearly 48,000 acres in Lake and Mendocino counties.

Yosemite Valley residents must leave the valley by noon Friday, National Park Service officials said.

The blaze burned so furiously on July 26 that it created a "fire whirl".

More immediately, the declaration will enable federal agencies to help battle the 17 major fires burning throughout the state.

Much of the destruction was caused by a tornado of flames that the National Weather Service said reached 143 miles per hour (230 kph) on July 26.

CBN News' Heather Sells is in California covering the wildfires. But she said trajectory and the weather forecast prompted officials to evacuate the communities Friday out of an abundance of caution.

The "firenado" also left behind damage that looked more like the work of a tornado than a wildfire-tiles stripped from roofs, trees uprooted, cars moved, a transmission tower tipped over. They have grown to nearly 250 square miles (648 kilometers).

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the blaze had blackened almost 206 square miles. Varney's radio wasn't communicating with headquarters, so his assistant relayed messages - until they lost contact.

According to the sheriffs, firefighters told deputies they were attempting to fight the front line of the Ranch Fire which was approximately 20 yards from them.

Two recent examples are the Carr Fire that's destroyed more than 1,000 homes in and near Redding - it's already the sixth-most destructive in state history - and the Ferguson Fire that forced the closure of part of Yosemite National Park in late July, at the height of tourist season.

The report says his death highlights the need for better risk assessment, communication and supervision.

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