California Governor Jerry Brown issued emergency proclamations for Riverside, Mariposa, Shasta, Lake, Mendocino and Napa counties over the past couple of days after raging wildfires claimed lives of 6 people, forced more than 37 000 to evacuate and destroyed hundreds of homes. 12 people are still missing.
The Carr Fire in Shasta County, currently the largest in the state, began July 23 when a vehicle suffered mechanical failure and has so far scorched 38 594 hectares (95 368 acres) of land. By late July 29 (local time), the fire was 17% contained, up from just 5% earlier in the day.
It has so far destroyed 874 structures, 657 of them homes, and damaged 175. Six people have been killed and 12 remain missing.
A total of 38 000 people have been evacuated from the county.
Extreme fire conditions continued Sunday while firefighters worked to build control lines. Shifting winds, dry fuels, and steep drainages contributed to rapid growth. Red Flag Warning and heat advisory are in effect for the area through Monday, July 30, 08:00 local time. Crews will continue to asses the number of damaged structures as conditions allow, CalFire said.
There are more than 3 300 firefighters battling the flames with more than 330 engines and 17 helicopters.
The Carr is the largest of eight big fires burning in California, and 90 across the country,
Sobering satellite imagery at sunset this evening depicting (multiple) massive pyrocumulus plumes and widespread smoke coverage across northern California. #CarrFire exploding again, with new fires in Mendocino County (#RanchFire, #RiverFire) and elsewhere. #CAwx #CAfire pic.twitter.com/VbXFUgMzYz
— Dr. Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) July 28, 2018
— Active NorCal (@ActiveNorCal) July 28, 2018
— ABC10 (@ABC10) July 27, 2018
— Shelbie Malin (@shelbiemalin) July 28, 2018
Some experts say this has been the worst start to the fire season in 10 years, partly due to a severe drought that killed off large amounts of vegetation since 2012.
“Much of the state’s vegetation reached ‘explosively dry’ levels,” UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said.
Featured image credit: CalFire