Wildfires keeps expanding in Northern California
A couple of fast-growing wildfires in northern California expanded by more than 25 percent overnight and continued to spread on Saturday afternoon.
A couple of fast-growing wildfires in northern California expanded by more than 25 percent overnight and continued to spread on Saturday afternoon as more residents were ordered to evacuate their homes and weary firefighters endured high temperatures and gusting winds.
Two blazes collectively called the Mendocino Complex burned in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties, about 90 miles (145 km) north of San Francisco. The River and Ranch fires had grown to cover a total of 201,471 acres (81,500 hectares) by early Saturday and were considered 34-percent contained.
"Fire season is really just beginning. What seems like we should be in the peak of fire season, historically, is really now the kind of conditions we're seeing really at the beginning," said Pimlott.
California Governor Jerry Brown, who visited some of the burned areas on Saturday, said, "This is part of a trend, the new normal, that we've got to deal with."
More evacuations were ordered on Saturday afternoon, but no estimate of people involved was released.
The Mendocino Complex fires have swelled to become larger than the deadly Carr Fire, about 100 miles (160 km) to the northeast, which has killed at least six people and destroyed more than 1,500 structures.
Both areas remained under a "red flag warning" issued by the National Weather Service for strong winds, low relative humidity and temperatures topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), all conditions that can drive the growth of wildfires.
Three men were given citations on Saturday for refusing to leave an area where firefighters wanted a tanker plane to make an airdrop, causing the plane to be diverted, according to a post on the Lake County Sheriff Office's Facebook page. The men when contacted by deputies were watering their marijuana plants, the posting said.
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