Arizona deploys hundreds of firefighters to California wildfires

California: Mendocino Complex Fire Explodes to 28000 Acres

Thousands Evacuate As Fires Burn In Lake, Mendocino Counties

The wildfire near Redding is one of 15 across the state that have burned more than 280,000 acres and engaged 12,300 firefighters battling the flames in triple-digit heat.

"Repopulation of communities affected by evacuations will continue as conditions allow", The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) said in an advisory on Tuesday.

More than 4,100 firefighting personnel, 366 engines and 17 helicopters are fighting the blaze, which has now burned an area three times the size of Redding's city limits.

The wildfire is now the seventh most destructive wildfire in California history.

A new fire, being called the Eel Fire, is causing need for mandatory evacuations in Mendocino County as of Tuesday. In all, some 10,000 people have been warned to flee, fire officials said. That fire was only about 40 miles north of twin blazes in Mendocino and Lake counties that took off earlier this week and together pose a threat to some 12,000 homes. "Please keep all of our Arizona firefighters, and all of the men and women working these fires in your thoughts", said State Forester Jeff Whitney.

Allen, president of Sacramento-based Cal Fire Local 2881, has battled fires like these for 30 years.

The fire has claimed six lives, including two firefighters, since gale-force winds whipped the blaze into a flaming cyclone that jumped a river and roared with little warning into Redding and adjacent communities in the scenic Shasta-Trinity region on the night of July 26.

"When the fires start, guys are pretty much ready to rock and roll".

Since then, parts of the county have been evacuated regularly due to fire, most recently in June.

Gaston said her brother had wanted to stay in his own home, but he had spotty cell service and, with the power out, he might not have gotten word of the fire.

Near Yosemite, the Ferguson Fire had burned 90 square miles and was 33 percent contained.

Erratic winds and record high temperatures have fueled blazes that blackened almost 410,000 acres in California, the state's highest year-to-date level in a decade. Hundreds were evacuated from the Cranston Fire in Riverside County east of Los Angeles last week.

"It was a firestorm when we left", Lister said. The closure began July 25.

It was the longest closure at Yosemite since 1997 when floods closed the park for more than two months. Fire officials were hopeful that they could make progress containing the blaze, which was 23 percent contained.

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