California wild fires continue rage, death toll rises

Cal Fire announced on Thursday that one of its mechanics working on the containment of the Carr fire, in the north of the state, died in an accident. This fire has razed 177,450 acres and is the one that has caused the most damage with more than 1,000 homes destroyed.

A mechanic working on the Carr fire, which burns nearly three weeks ago in northern California, died Thursday in a motor vehicle crash in Tehama County, so the death toll from this Fire rises to eight and the total for fires in the state to 10.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) detailed that one of its mechanics died when his vehicle left Highway 99 and crashed into a tree. The vehicle caught fire and the victim was not publicly identified.

The Carr fire, which began on July 23, has caused most of the deaths in this wave of fires that plague the state, between civilians and emergency service personnel: four residents of Redding, a firefighter from the same city, an operator of an excavator, a worker of the company Pacific Gas and Electric and the mechanic who joined this Thursday.

According to the authorities’ latest report , Carr has burned 177,450 acres and destroyed about 1,077 residences, 22 businesses and 500 other structures. Which makes it one of the most destructive fires this summer in California.

Firefighters have managed to control the flames by 48% until Thursday.

Although the flames are moving away from populated areas and spreading into wooded areas, firefighters warn of the danger of driving on nearby roads. “The biggest danger to this operational period will be driving,” Baraka Carter, a public safety officer, told firefighters this week.

On the other hand, Cal Fire said Thursday that the Mendocino Complex fire, which on Monday became the largest of all those recorded in modern California’s history, has devastated more than 300,000 acres of land.

Firefighters continue to progress in front of this fire consisting of two sources (Ranch and River), which have been burning since last July 27 around Clear Lake, located about 200 kilometers north of San Francisco.

More than a dozen fires are still active in the state , which together have burned more than 600,000 acres and their flames have been revived by the heat wave that is experienced in the region, in addition to the drought.

Several areas of Yosemite National Park, one of the country’s most popular nature reserves, remain closed due to the Ferguson fire, which has already been contained by 79% but has burned more than 95,000 acres.

Meanwhile, Holy Fire has burned more than 9,600 acres in four days in Orange County and is only controlled at 5%.

Forest fires in California are becoming more frequent and violent, as evidenced by the fact that, according to the official record dating back to 1932, four of the five most destructive fires in the history of the state have occurred in the last six years.

The big 5

Mendocino Complex Fire: +300,000 acres, Mendocino. 
Thomas Fire: 281,000 acres, December 2017, Ventura. 
Cedar Fire: 273,246 acres, October 2003, San Diego. 
Rush Fire: 271.911 acres, August 2012, Lassen. 
Rim Fire: 257,314 acres, August 2013, Tuolumne.

Erica Bondersmith

Erica Bondersmith was born and raised in the Hollywood Hills.  As a journalist, Erica has contributed to many online publications including the USA Today and The San Diego Union-Tribune.  In regards to academics, Erica earned a degree in sociology from UCLA and an master’s degree from Temple University. Erica covers lifestyle and politics here at Herald Keepers.

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