Sat | Feb 22, 2020

10,000 more people ordered to flee California wildfires

Published:Monday | July 30, 2018 | 2:00 PM
San Bernardino County Fire department firefighters assess the damage to a neighbourhood in the aftermath of a wildfire, Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Keswick, California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — About 10,000 more people were ordered evacuated as two wildfires surged toward small lake towns in Northern California while the state’s largest and deadliest blaze of the year slowed slightly after days of explosive growth, authorities said.

The twin fires in Mendocino and Lake counties flared up late Sunday, forcing the new evacuations from the 4,700-resident town of Lakeport and other communities near Clear Lake, about 120 miles north of San Francisco.

The blazes have destroyed six homes and threaten 10,000 others.

So far, the flames have blackened 87 square miles, with minimal containment.

Those fires were among 17 burning across the state, where fire crews were stretched to the limit.

To the north, near Redding, California, where an unpredictable blaze killed six people, a man whose wife and two great-grandchildren were among the dead said he did not receive any warning to evacuate.

After days of fortifying the areas around Redding, fire crews were increasingly confident that the city would escape further damage.

The fire had not grown inside the city limits since Saturday, Gouvea said.

Some of the 38,000 people forced to evacuate said they were frustrated because they didn’t know whether their homes were still standing.

Some evacuated neighbourhoods were reopened Monday but many remained closed as firefighters mopped up.

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