Authorities are ordering residents along a Northern California lake to evacuate homes in the path of a growing wildfire amid concerns that hot, windy and dry weather conditions will persist throughout the weekend.
The death toll in the Carr Fire reached seven Saturday when a Pacific Gas & Electric worker was killed while working with a crew to restore power in western Shasta County, utility spokesman J.D. Guidi said.
"He was working in a remote area in risky terrain in supprt of power restoriation efforts", said Melissa Subbotin, a PG&E spokesperson.
More than 4,500 firefighters stationed in two Shasta County base camps have battled the 140,000-acre blaze for almost two weeks, facing triple-digit temperatures, winds up to 30 miles per hour and desert-dry air. Two firefighters and four other people were also killed.
The Mendocino Complex has grown to be bigger than the Carr fire, which is now 41 percent contained, allowing for some evacuated people to return.
Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott says the California wildfires have grown faster, and burned more land, earlier in the fire season than usual.
A sign by the side of the road warns of the threat of wildfires which have been fueled by continued hot weather outside the town of Colfax, California, U.S., August 4, 2018. More than 1,000 homes have been razed and 9,000 residents remain evacuated from their homes, he said.
"The president has been pretty good on helping us in disasters, so I'm hopeful", said Brown, a Democrat.
"These kinds of terrible situations bring people together, regardless of the lesser kind of ideologies and partisan considerations", Brown told a news conference Saturday.
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The weather service issued warnings for critical fire weather conditions into Saturday, saying a series of dry low-pressure systems passing through the region would bring afternoon wind gusts.
At its peak, the Carr Fire forced more than 35,000 Shasta and Trinity county residents to seek temporary shelter and led to the evacuations of thousands more.
Firefighters ride in the back of a pickup truck while battling the Ranch Fire on New Long Valley Rd near Clearlake Oaks, California.
The two fires cover an area larger than the wildfire that damaged parts of Redding, California last week and continues to grow. The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.
Wildfires typically create whirls but rarely of the strength of the one recorded July 26, Dykema said.
Hundreds of colleagues, family and friends attended a memorial service Saturday in Fresno for National Forest Service Capt. Brian Hughes.
Firefighters have achieved more than 40 percent containment of that fire, which had reached into remote areas of the country's third-oldest national park.