Friday, 19 October, 2018

Mendocino Complex fires: Two Northern California wildfires threaten 10,000 structures

'My kids are deceased', heartbroken Mom after losing two children to California Wildfire Deadly California wildfire kills 8, destroys over 650 homes
Charlie Simmons | 31 July, 2018, 18:25

Crews across California are battling 17 large blazes totaling more than 200,000 acres, a National Park Service official said.

The several large-scale blazes have turned around 200,000 acres (80,940 hectares) into an ashen wasteland, destroyed expensive homes, and killed eight fire personnel and civilians in the most populous U.S. state. The fire has killed six people - including four civilians and two firefighters - and destroyed more than 700 homes, some in the city of Redding.

The dispute came as authorities on Sunday ordered evacuations around twin fires in Mendocino and Lake counties, including from the 4,700-resident town of Lakeport, a popular destination for bass anglers and boaters on the shores of Clear Lake, about 120 miles (195 kilometers) north of San Francisco.

Some 12,000 firefighters were battling the blaze.

Authorities are still looking for seven persons after finding nine others who had been reported missing, Bosenko said.

"If my life is in jeopardy, I'm not going to risk it for material things but as long as I can defend it, I will", Soria said. As of Monday morning (July 30), the Carr Fire had scorched almost 100,000 acres (40,500 hectares) and was just 20 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). Ferguson has blackened almost 56,700 acres and is 30 percent contained, Cal Fire reports.

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But not everyone heeded orders issued Sunday and Monday to evacuate. At least six people have died and more than 950 homes and buildings have been destroyed since the fire ignited last week, fire officials said.

"Grandma did everything she could to save them", Woodley said.

More than 27,000 people remained evacuated from their homes although another 10,000 were allowed to return Monday as fire crews reinforced lines on the western end of the blaze. "There are certain areas of the fire that they're able to go on with boots on the ground", said Lisa Wilkolak, information officer for Carr Fire. Bledsoe's granddaughter, Amanda Woodley, said on Facebook the elderly woman desperately put a wet blanket over the children as their home burned.

About 100 miles south-west of Redding, two blazes that prompted mandatory evacuations in Mendocino County burn largely unchecked. "Shifting winds, dry fuels and steep drainages contributed to rapid growth".

"It wasn't expected to travel that far that fast", said CalFire spokesman Scott Mclean.

Bledsoe said he did not know his home was in danger when he left his wife and great grandchildren to run an errand on Thursday. Neither Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko or a spokesperson for the office responded to requests for comment Monday, but Bosenko told CBS News that officials are working to find out whether the Bledsoes were given a warning about the fire.

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