New Mandatory Evacuation Ordered In Lake County

New Mandatory Evacuation Ordered In Lake County

On the evening of July 26, California's Carr fire, one of the most destructive fires in the state's history, was burning in Redding, when conditions aligned to create a massive whirl of smoke and fire. The twirling tower of flame reached speeds of 143 miles per hour (230 kph), which rivaled some of the most destructive Midwest tornados, National Weather Service meteorologist Duane Dykema said.

The whirl measured a 3 on the five-level Enhanced Fujita scale, which scientists use to classify the strength of tornados, he said.

The blazes are likely to surpass the largest California wildfire on record, which burned 440 square miles (1,140 square kilometers) in December. The forecast included extremely low humidity levels that leave vegetation ready to burn. New mandatory evacuation orders were issued Fiday for residents living near the Mendocino Complex Fires.

California fire officials said Saturday that the Ranch and River fires of the Mendocino Complex, burning near Ukiah and Clear Lake, grew to nearly a combined 250 square miles (201,000 acres).

The fire has killed six people, including two firefighters, and destroyed 1,060 homes and almost 500 other buildings, including businesses, barns and warehouses, officials said.

It has destroyed more than 1,550 structures in and around Redding, a city of 90,000 people about 160 miles (260 km) north of the state capital, Sacramento.

At the peak of the fires more than 55,000 people were evacuated from their homes, Brown wrote. "When the winds are strong enough and the fire is hot enough, sometimes, the rising air columns start to rotate".

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

Firefighters had managed to contain 41 percent of the Carr blaze by Saturday evening, and authorities were allowing some evacuees to return. Hughes was killed July 29 by a falling tree while fighting the wildfire that has closed Yosemite National Park at the height of tourist season.

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.

CBN News' Heather Sells is in California covering the wildfires.

Several days of light winds have helped teams control smaller blazes, but they faced a "red flag" warning for increasing winds and heightened fire danger going into the weekend.

Access to Yosemite Valley is closed through Sunday due to fire operations, the NPS said. But she said trajectory and the weather forecast prompted officials to evacuate the communities Friday out of an abundance of caution.

"The Mendocino Complex Fire has charred more than 102,790 hectares, making it the fifth largest blaze in California's history", AccuWeather said on its website.

The report says his death highlights the need for better risk assessment, communication and supervision.

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