Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

SAFD sending crew to help battle deadly Carr Fire in California

SAFD sending crew to help battle deadly Carr Fire in California

Ayeta is the seventh person to die in the vast 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 south of the OR state line.

California fire officials said Monday that the two fires about 100 miles north of San Francisco were 30 percent contained and have scorched 428 square miles.

"The big fires have scores of water-dropping helicopters getting water from nearby lakes and reservoirs", he said.

One of the 17 major California wildfires burning exploded over the weekend and became the fourth-largest in state history, officials said. Jerry Brown had written in his request to Trump for a presidential major disaster declaration.

"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized", Trump tweeted. The River and Ranch fires had grown to cover about 82,675 hectares by Saturday night, and were considered 32 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). He also urged California to thin its forests "to stop fire spreading!"

Experts say Trump is giving voice to Republican opposition to the state's progressive environmental policies by taking issue with state measures created to protect fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta by allowing water to flow through the delta and the San Francisco Bay, then out to the ocean.

Some areas on the fire's southeastern flank were reopened to residents.

The wildfire started two weeks ago by sparks from the steel wheel of a towed-trailer's flat tire.

The fire burned slowly for days before winds suddenly whipped it up last week and drove it quickly through dry brush and trees. But the heat forced many crews to drop back to safety zones in July and helplessly watch fires continue to rapidly expand.

Firefighters in California use multiple strategies to contain wildfires, including dropping water or fire suppressants from aircraft and using bulldozers and other tools to remove fuel from the path of the fire. The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.

Woodward said the crew will be traveling to Northern California sometime this week.

Parts of Yosemite National Park will remain closed indefinitely due to the Ferguson Fire burning near the park, according to the National Park Service. The Carr Fire has destroyed more than 1,000 homes in and around Redding.

This year, catastrophic fires in California have already killed seven people, including a 33-year-old firefighter and a 36-year-old heavy-equipment operator.

The California Highway Patrol, Cal Trans and National Guard units were maintaining a tight presence along numerous checkpoints along Highways 20 and 29, as the forecast for significant wind activity was projected to increase the danger for anyone entering the evacuation areas, which now stretched from the Potter Valley turnoff to beyond Clearlake Oaks. It is now burning mostly in steep and rough terrain along the north bank of the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River.

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