Mendocino Complex Fires Reach 56,000 Acres

California: Mendocino Complex Fire Explodes to 28000 Acres

Thousands Evacuate As Fires Burn In Lake, Mendocino Counties

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.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said another 440 buildings, including barns and warehouses, have also been destroyed by the fire, which is now the sixth most destructive in California history.

More than 4,100 firefighting personnel, 366 engines and 17 helicopters are fighting the blaze, which has now burned an area three times the size of Redding's city limits. The Ferguson Fire, burning near Yosemite, is almost 57,000 acres and is 30 percent contained.

"Firefighters will continue to build control lines to mitigate spotting despite these challenging conditions", Cal Fire said in its incident report on the Carr Fire issued late Tuesday. In all, some 19,000 people have been warned to flee, fire officials said.

Thousands of people were allowed to return to their homes this week but the blaze continues to burn and has scorched 180 square miles (470 square kilometers).

Brown said the difference between his first tenure as governor in the 1970s and now is simple: "The biggest change is the fire season lasts so much longer, and the fires are so much bigger", he said.

"We've started off with a bang, " Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said.

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

As of 7 a.m., 884 homes, four commercial structures and 348 outbuildings have been destroyed by the fire; while another 169 homes, 5 commercial structures and 51 outbuildings have been damaged.

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

Shyla and her two children - a six-year-old son and a daughter who turned 13 that same day - spent the night at a hotel. "These evacuations also include all driveways and homes located between the North South points".

In Riverside County, east of Los Angeles, an arson fire that destroyed seven homes last week was 82 percent contained Monday. "I'm very upset about it". "The fire burned actively throughout the night".

National Park Service officials said Tuesday that the scenic Yosemite Valley and other areas will be closed at least through Sunday due to heavy smoke from the so-called Ferguson Fire. And parts of Yosemite National Park remain closed as firefighters battle a blaze there.

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