Norcal Fire Crews Battling New ‘Eel Fire’ in Mendocino County

Norcal Fire Crews Battling New ‘Eel Fire’ in Mendocino County

Norcal Fire Crews Battling New ‘Eel Fire’ in Mendocino County

The toll of devastation from one of the most brutal fires in California history rose Wednesday to more than 1,000 homes destroyed and nearly 200 damaged as a sprawling wildfire ignited by a spark from a towed vehicle grew to 180 square miles.

Since last week, tens of thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes as the Carr fire, the most aggressive of the blazes, rages on. The fires have become the seventh-most destructive in state history.

And new fires continue to erupt in Northern California.

Paulich says residents have been heeding evacuation orders because they have seen the destruction caused by past fires.

California fire officials say that blaze grew overnight to 153 square miles (395 square kilometers).

"The western edge of fire continued to challenge crews yesterday evening", Cal Fire said Wednesday.

McLean, the state fire spokesman, said there was no guarantee of safety in a state that has been ravaged by years of drought that has turned trees and brush to tinder.

Evacuation orders remained in effect Tuesday for the town of Lakeport, the county seat, although orders for some smaller communities were lifted.


Six people have died in the fires, including a firefighter, a grandmother and her two young grandchildren.

The Carr Fire was one of more than a dozen racing through the parched state.

Erratic winds and record high temperatures have fueled blazes that blackened almost 410,000 acres in California, the state's highest year-to-date level in a decade.

Bush had returned to his mobile home in the community of Keswick last Tuesday after undergoing quadruple heart bypass surgery, but he was unable to drive and would have needed help to evacuate when the fire came through the neighborhood on Thursday, his sister, Kathi Gaston, told the Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding. A 10-acre fire damaged 13 homes and apartments Monday in Santa Clarita, northwest of Los Angeles, county fire officials said. And the fire was only 30 percent contained, eight days after a misfiring vehicle ignited the blaze.

"But you can't stop doing what you have to do, and you can't stop facing what you have to face", she said. "I'm very upset about it".

National Park officials said Tuesday the scenic Yosemite Valley and other areas will be closed at least through Sunday due to heavy smoke from the so-called Ferguson Fire. The closure began July 25 and had been tentatively scheduled to end Friday.

It was the longest closure at Yosemite since 1997, when floods closed the park for over two months.

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