Low humidity and high winds fuel growth of California wildfires

Low humidity and high winds fuel growth of California wildfires

Low humidity and high winds fuel growth of California wildfires

It has destroyed 88 structures and forced the evacuation of 14,000 residents, including in the towns of Nice and Lucerne about 150km north of San Francisco, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).

The Mendocino Complex Fire is forcing more families to flee from their homes.

Redding is 220 miles (354 kilometres) north of San Francisco.

Additionally, the Ferguson fire rages near Yosemite National Park.

The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings of extreme fire danger through Saturday night because of low humidity and gusty winds.

In an interview with the Associated Press, NWS meteorologist Duane Dykema said the phenomenon was on par with some of the most destructive Midwest tornadoes.

A fire whirl spawned by the Carr Fire carried wind speeds equivalent to an EF-3 tornado, the National Weather Service said on Thursday.

Jonathan Cox, the Fire Protection Battalion Chief and Information Officer for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said that the state has had wildfires before.

The fire, which is almost twice the size of Sacramento, was only partially contained after more than a week.

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The insurance and reinsurance industry loss from the Carr wildfire in Shasta County, California, is anticipated to at least approach and possibly surpass $1 billion, as the destruction continues with now more than 1,550 structures completely destroyed and another 258 damaged by the fire.

Carol Smith and her family walked into their hillside neighborhood Thursday to find her home reduced to mangled metal and piles of bricks after a massive Northern California wildfire leveled more than 1,000 homes.

On Thursday, a special contingent of 100 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand took off from Sydney en route to USA assignments reinforcing exhausted fire crews in northern California, Oregon and Washington state.

The heat of wildfires can sometimes create short-lived "fire whirls", and at first, experts were reluctant to call the Redding fire column a tornado.

A 100-square-mile (259-square-kilometer) fire near Yosemite National Park prompted evacuation orders for the community of Wawona inside the park, which has fewer than 200 residents.

Workers who live in Yosemite's popular Valley region were ordered to leave Friday because of inaccessible roads. Varney's radio wasn't communicating with headquarters, so his assistant relayed messages - until they lost contact.

Some evacuations were lifted Friday in an area near Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft have been battling an enormous blaze about 100 miles south of the OR line.

Varney was a 10-year veteran.

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