California's Carr Fire 30 Percent Contained As New Blazes Erupt Elsewhere

California's Carr Fire 30 Percent Contained As New Blazes Erupt Elsewhere

The deadliest of the current wildfires, the Carr Fire, is now the seventh most destructive inferno in California history, state fire officials said.

High winds have complicated the effort to fight the blaze near Redding, which was believed to have been started July 23 by a vehicle mechanical failure, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

The huge Redding area blaze has displaced 38,000 from their homes and killed six people, and police say four people are missing.

Officials have lifted and reduced evacuation orders for two areas affected by the group of fires known as the Mendocino Complex, though other communities in Lake and Mendocino counties remain under manadatory evacuation.

Twin fires in Mendocino and Lake Counties, 120 miles north of San Francisco, had burned through 140 square miles and destroyed 10 homes.

The state spent more than $114 million fighting fires in July, the first month of California's fiscal year.

"The wind isn't as strong as it was a week ago", Cal Fire's John Clingingsmith said.

"The weather has really been working with us", said Jude Olivas, a spokesman for the interagency firefighting team.

In Lake County, evacuation orders were in effect for the 4,700-resident town of Lakeport along with some smaller communities and a section of Mendocino National Forest.

The most destructive fire in state history was last October's Tubbs Fire in Sonoma, which destroyed 5,636 structures and killed 22 people as it roared through 36,807 acres.

The practice refers to setting fires from containment lines, such as established fire breaks or hastily built ones made by a bulldozer or painstakingly cut by hand. He bought his three-bedroom house a year ago using a loan from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Although the Ferguson Fire - which is 33 percent contained and has burned about 58,000 acres - has so far not spread to Yosemite, it is keeping parts of the popular park closed through Sunday, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Gaston said her brother had wanted to stay in his own home, but he had spotty cell service and, with the power out, he might not have gotten word of the fire.

Gaston said she couldn't get to her brother's house because, with the fire approaching, sheriff's deputies had blocked the roads and then she herself had to evacuate.

Yosemite National Park planned to reopen its treasured Yosemite Valley to all visitors late Friday as firefighters slowly gained the upper hand on the blaze.

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