This year's California wildfire season has been more destructive than in years past, burning about 290,000 acres (117,300 hectares), more than double the five-year average over that same period, according to Cal Fire. The twirling tower of flame reached speeds of 143 miles per hour (230 kph), which rivaled some of the most destructive Midwest tornados, National Weather Service meteorologist Duane Dykema said.
Fuelled by triple-digit temperatures, the blazes have put California on track for its most destructive fire year since 2008, in terms of area burnt, said Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean. The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.
"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized", he tweeted. The Mandatory Evacuation area is west of Lucerne at Bartlett Springs Road and Highway CA-20, south of the fire, east of the fire, north of Clear Lake including the communities of Blue Lakes, Upper Lake, Nice, Lakeport, Witter Springs, Bachelor Valley, Scotts Valley, Saratoga Springs.
The Carr Fire was 41 percent contained Saturday after killing six people and incinerating 1,067 homes.
The blaze has killed two firefighters.
At the peak of the fires more than 55,000 people were evacuated from their homes, Brown wrote.
He says fire whirls are common, but not at the intensity recorded on July 26.
Hotter weather attributed to climate change is drying out vegetation, creating more intense fires that spread quickly from rural areas to city subdivisions, climate and fire experts say. The hotter the fire, the faster the air rises and the tighter it twists until it takes off as a tornado, he said.
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One of the fires moved deeper into the Mendocino National Forest, "an area with some hunting cabins and some private property but no towns", Lake County Sheriff Lt. Corey Paulich said. Strong winds pushed the fire northeast Saturday, and it had grown to about nine square miles as of Sunday afternoon with no containment, according to U.S. Forest Service officials. The fires have killed at least eight people, stretching the state's funds and resources thin as firefighters try to gain control.
Yosemite Valley residents must leave the valley by noon Friday, National Park Service officials said.
Braden Varney, 36, was working alone overnight July 14 fighting the wildfire while his assistant went to get a new hydraulic hose.
"It's not good firefighting weather", Anderson said.
The Carr Fire, located some 322 kilometers north of San Francisco, is still growing, CalFire said today.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which uses acres to describe fire size, said the blaze had blackened almost 206 square miles (533 square kilometers).
The size of the fires surpasses a blaze last December in Southern California that burned 440.5 square miles (1,140.8 kilometers). Varney's radio wasn't communicating with headquarters, so his assistant relayed messages - until they lost contact.
The report called for better "risk assessment" among firefighters.