Saturday, September 22, 2018

Daily Updates

Brown asks Trump for aid

So far 8 people killed, hundreds of homes destroyed by 17 wildfires in California

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-40

    A tower of smoke pours from Cow Mountain as Burney, Calif., firefighter Bob May keeps a watch on surrounding vegetation for spot fires during a wildfire off Scotts Valley Road on Thursday near Lakeport, Calif.

    Associated Press

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-1-18

    A firefighter walks around a swimming pool sprayed by phos-chek fire retardant after an air tanker made a pass while fighting a wildfire near Lakeport, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. (Kent Porter /The Press Democrat via AP)

    Kent Porter

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-2-22

    Firefighters stand watch on a roof as a wildfire sweeps through the area near Lakeport, Calif., Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Kent Porter /The Press Democrat via AP)

    Kent Porter

  • California-Wildfires-3-70

    Flames from a wildfire advance up a ridge, towering over a home that eventually burned, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, near Lakeport, Calif. (Kent Porter /The Press Democrat via AP)

    Kent Porter

  • California-Wildfires-4-69

    Flames from a wildfire advance down a hillside, towering over homes off Scotts Valley Road, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, near Lakeport, Calif. (Kent Porter /The Press Democrat via AP)

    Kent Porter

  • California-Wildfires-Life-Amid-the-Ashes-5

    In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, a thank you banner for fire fighters, first responders and hospital workers hangs outside Mercy Medical Center in Redding, Calif. Dozens of staff members, including doctors, nurses and others at the medical center are keeping the hospital running despite losing their homes to the flames. (AP Photo/Michael Burke)

    Michael Burke

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-6-12

    A 747 Global Airtanker makes a drop in front of advancing flames from a wildfire Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Lakeport, Calif. (Kent Porter /The Press Democrat via AP)

    Kent Porter

  • California-Wildfires-Firefighter-Memorial-7

    Fresno firefighters watch as a fire truck procession from various agencies around the state caravans through downtown Fresno, Calif. and below an American Flag held up by two Fresno City Fire Department ladder trucks on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. Captain Brian Hughes, a member of the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshot Crew died while fighting a wildfire near Yosemite National Park . (Craig Kohlruss/The Fresno Bee via AP)

    Craig Kohlruss

  • California-Wildfires-Firefighter-Memorial-8

    Honor guard members prepare to fold an American flag before presenting it to family members of Brian Hughes, a captain with the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots who was killed by a falling tree while fighting the Ferguson Fire, during a memorial service at Valdez Hall in Fresno, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. (Craig Kohlruss /The Fresno Bee via AP)

    Craig Kohlruss

  • California-Wildfires-Firefighter-Memorial-9

    Honor guard and pall bearers carry the coffin of Brian Hughes, a captain with the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots who was killed by a falling tree while fighting the Ferguson Fire, during a memorial service at Valdez Hall in Fresno, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. (Craig Kohlruss/The Fresno Bee via AP)

    Craig Kohlruss

SAN FRANCISCO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday called on President Donald Trump to help California fight and recover from another devastating wildfire season.

Brown, who inspected neighborhoods wiped out by a wildfire in the Northern California city of Redding, said he was confident the president he has clashed with over immigration and pollution policies would send aid, which Trump did last year when California’s wine country was hit hard.

“The president has been pretty good on helping us in disasters, so I’m hopeful,” said Brown, a Democrat. “Tragedies bring people together.”

The National Weather Service forecasts hot and windy conditions to persist in Northern California.

There are 17 major fires burning throughout California, authorities said. In all, they have destroyed hundreds of homes, killed eight people — including four firefighters— and shut down Yosemite National Park.

Hundreds of colleagues, family and friends attended a memorial service Saturday in Fresno for National Forest Service Capt. Brian Hughes, the Fresno Bee reported. Hughes was killed July 29 by a falling tree while fighting the wildfire that has closed Yosemite National Park at the height of tourist season.

Firefighters have achieved 41 percent containment of that forest fire.

The fire had reached into remote areas of the country’s third-oldest national park. Workers who live in Yosemite’s popular Valley region were ordered to leave Friday because of inaccessible roads.

The biggest blazes continue to burn north of San Francisco, including twin wildfires fueled by dry vegetation and hot, windy weather. Those fires destroyed 55 homes and forced thousands of residents to flee their neighborhoods about 100 miles north of the city. They have grown to a combined 300 square miles.

The two fires have charred an area of the forested, rural area five times the size of San Francisco and were only 27 percent contained. Thousands of people remain evacuated.

The Weather Service issued red flag warnings of critical fire weather conditions through Saturday night, saying a series of dry low-pressure systems passing through the region could bring wind gusts of up to 35 mph that could turn small fires or even sparks into racing walls of flames.

“This is a particularly dangerous situation with extremely low humidity and high winds. New fires will grow rapidly out of control, in some cases people may not be able to evacuate safely in time should a fire approach,” the weather service said in its bulletin for the Mendocino area north of San Francisco.

Meteorologist Steve Anderson said temperatures will remain in the 90s in the region throughout the week with wind gusts reaching 25 mph during the day Sunday.

“It’s not good firefighting weather,” Anderson said.

More evacuations were ordered Saturday for an area of Mendocino and Lake counties where the week-old twin fires are threatening about 9,000 homes. The largest of the two fires was 50 percent contained.

The fire remained several miles from the evacuated communities along the eastern shore of Clear Lake, but “it looks like there’s dicey weather on the way,” California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Jane LaBoa said.

However, most evacuations were lifted by Saturday in and around Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft continue battling an immense blaze about 100 miles south of the Oregon line. Some areas on the fire’s southeastern flank were reopened to residents.

The fire near Redding, which killed six people and incinerated 1,067 homes, started two weeks ago with sparks from the steel wheel of a towed-trailer’s flat tire, Department of Agriculture and Fire Precention officials said.

The blaze is currently 41 percent contained.

The fire burned slowly for days before winds suddenly whipped it up last week and drove it furiously through brush and timber.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the blaze had blackened nearly 206 square miles.

“Fire season is really just beginning,” Cal Fire chief Ken Pimlott said.


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