Growing California fires prompt new evacuations

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Ayeta is the seventh person to die in the huge 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 (160 kilometers) south of the OR state line.

According to the sheriffs, firefighters told deputies they were attempting to fight the front line of the Ranch Fire which was approximately 20 yards from them.

Those figures, along with the fact that large fires are starting earlier in the year, has state officials anxious.

The dual fires have charred an area of the forested, rural area five times the size of San Francisco and were only 34 percent contained Saturday.

Another set of blazes, collectively called the Mendocino Complex, has been growingly rapidly as well with only 34 percent considered contained.

The Democratic governor said he was confident the Republican president he has clashed with over immigration and pollution policies would send aid, which Trump did past year when the California's wine country was hit hard.

There are now 18 wildfires blazing across California.

Meanwhile, new evacuations were ordered Saturday evening near two fires burning in Mendocino and Lake counties, that have destroyed 41 homes and threaten about 9,000 more. Two firefighters and four other people have also been killed.

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The cause of the fire remains under investigation; The Los Angeles Times also reports that some "have blamed the start of the massive blaze on a vehicle towing a trailer with a flat tire, its metal rim creating sparks as it rolled along".

The Mendocino is one of 17 major wildfires burning across California that prompted U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday to declare a "major disaster" in the state, ordering federal funding to be made available to help recovery efforts.

The Carr Fire has destroyed 1,080 residences, 24 commercial structures and 500 outbuildings.

"Unstable conditions, shifting winds, steep terrain and dry fuels continue to challenge firefighters", a state fire update warned, noting that 35-mph wind gusts were expected on ridgetops that could whip up the flames.

The National Park Service says that parts of Yosemite National Park will remain closed indefinitely because of growing fires in areas near and on the park.

More evacuations were ordered on Saturday afternoon, but no estimate of people involved was released.

The NWS 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 that could turn small fires or even sparks into racing walls of flames. "Fire managers are continuously assessing conditions in the area and will work directly with and will immediately advise park managers as conditions change and it becomes safe to reopen", the agency said in a statement.

He says fire whirls are common, but not at the intensity recorded on July 26. The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.