Growing California fires prompt new evacuations

That total - 153,738 - outstrips the Carr Fire near Redding by more than 20,000 acres.

This year's California wildfire season has been more destructive than in years past, burning about 290,000 acres (117,300 hectares), more than double the five-year average over that same period, according to Cal Fire. California has not recorded a tornado of that strength since 1978.

Brown also stressed that California must continue to lessen the effects of climate change, which is blamed for exacerbating the warm and dry conditions that lead to wildfires. But when two plumes broke through, that created an fast-moving updraft, conditions similar to those of tornado formation.

Carol Smith and her family walked into their hillside neighborhood Thursday to find her home reduced to mangled metal and piles of bricks after a massive Northern California wildfire leveled more than 1,000 homes.

These numbers are likely to rise further, given the Carr fire is still only 37% contained and the weather conditions will remain conducive to burns, making fighting the fire more hard.

New evacuations advisories and orders were issued overnight for parts of Lake and Colusa counties threatened by the growing Mendocino Complex fires.


The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings of critical fire weather conditions through Saturday night, saying a series of dry low-pressure systems passing through the region could bring wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour (56 kph) that could turn small fires or even sparks into racing walls of flames. A Red Flag Warning is in effect in Lake County from 11 a.m. Friday until 11 p.m. Saturday due to gusty winds and low humidity in fire weather zones. 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).

As of Saturday morning, Cal Fire reported The Ranch Fire was 156,678 acres and 27-percent contained.

The blaze has killed two firefighters.

However, some days-old evacuations were lifted Friday in an area near Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft continue battling an vast blaze about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the OR line.

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

A Department of Forestry and Fire Protection preliminary report says each earlier slip alone qualified as a "near miss" warning that the century-old mining trail could collapse. The report called for better "risk assessment" among firefighters. Six people, including two firefighters, have died and the fire has destroyed 1060 homes and almost 500 other buildings, including barns and warehouses, making it the sixth most destructive wildfire in California history, state fire officials said.


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