Evacuations expand as wildfire moved into Lake County

US wildfires scorching homes, land - and California's annual budget

New evacuations in Lake, Colusa counties as Mendocino Complex fires surpass 150,000 acres | The Sacramento Bee

Meanwhile, firefighters battling the deadly and destructive wildfires in the region faced worsening weather conditions.

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. Fueled by high temperatures, wind and low humidity, the blaze destroyed multiple homes and at least one historic building.

To the southwest of Redding, new evacuations were ordered late Thursday at the Mendocino Complex, where twin fires have ravaged a combined 240 square miles (621 square kilometers), destroyed 41 residences and threatened 9,200 homes.

The Ranch fire is now at almost 60,000 acres with 15 percent containment. Thousands of people remain evacuated.

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.

The numbers are based on daily statistics provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and show how much land the fire has charred with each passing day.

The fire burned slowly for days before winds suddenly whipped it up last week and drove it furiously through brush and timber.

A 100-square-mile (259-square-kilometer) fire near Yosemite National Park prompted evacuation orders for the community of Wawona inside the park, which has fewer than 200 residents.

Another fire located 100 miles to the northeast has already seen six deaths with 41 percent of that blaze reportedly under control. Basically, you protect lives and private property first, then as time and resources permit, deal with the part of the fire that is burning in remote areas.

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

Most of the Ranch fire expansion was from the fire's press deeper into the Mendocino National Forest, a Cal Fire spokesman said Wednesday.

Additionally, there was a mandatory evacuation issued for Yosemite Valley.

In total, 14 states are now reporting large fires.

An air tanker drops fire retardent to try to contain flames from the Carr fire as it spreads towards the town of Lewiston near Redding, California, on August 2, 2018.

"Prescribed burns alone will not stop that, but it is a tool that we can use to reduce the effect of those large fires", said Porter. "Since civilization emerged 10,000 years ago, we haven't had this kind of heat condition, and it's going to continue getting worse".

Below, a CAL FIRE Battalion Chief explains how they fight fires when you don't have enough resources. Jerry Brown has created a forest management task force, trying to get everyone on the same page, according to CBS SF Bay Area.

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