Firefighters gain on major California blazes as heat wave breaks

Randal Sanchez
August 14, 2018

As in numerous wildfires burning across the state, steep terrain in the Holy Fire is making it hard for fire crews and engines to get close to the flames.

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties, and several school districts have canceled classes due to fire warnings and unhealthy air quality.

Three personnel assisting in the firefighting effort have been killed by the fire, which started on July 23, Shanley confirmed to NPR.

If all goes well, firefighters still don't expect to the have the massive blaze completely contained until sometime in September. The fire is burning near the Mendocino National Forest, about 140 miles northwest of Sacramento.

CAL FIRE reports that 147 residences have been destroyed in the two fires and another 1,025 remain threatened. It has burned 1,900 acres and was 25 percent contained. "Sorry if we weren't supposed to", firefighters from Cal Fire Engine 1489 said in a hand-written note left next to Grant's fish bowl.

The Ranch Fire, which achieved the dubious record of becoming the state's largest fire in its own right yesterday, remains particularly active in the northwestern portion of the fire, in the Lake Pillsbury area, where winds and fire activity picked up yesterday. The Ranch Fire is 62 percent contained as of Monday morning.

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Together, the Ranch and River fires have scorched 344,890 acres. The fires had burned a combined total of 325,226 acres and was 67 percent contained.

He said dry thunderstorms, which produce lightning but little rain, are expected for parts of the Rocky Mountain region, while the USA north-west has critical fire weather conditions that include strong winds and low relative humidity.

"Our hearts are breaking as we announce the loss of one of Draper City's firefighters in the Mendocino Fire last night".

So far the fires have destroyed 139 homes and 119 structures.

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