Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Carr Fire evacuees return home, some find ashes

Carr Fire evacuees return home, some find ashes

The National Weather Service has issued a red-flag warning for the Mendocino Complex Fire area beginning at 11 a.m Friday and running through 11 p.m. Saturday.

The Carr Fire has destroyed more than 1,546 structures in and around Redding, a city of 90,000 people about 160 miles (260 km) north of the state capital, Sacramento.

Tired firefighters in Northern California were outflanking a deadly, 10-day-old blaze on Wednesday that has destroyed over 1,000 homes as authorities reopened more evacuated neighbourhoods and the last few people listed as missing were found alive.

Tens of thousands of people across California are waiting to return home or assess what remains of their homes after the fires.

The fire was burning in federal forest land and a handful of residents in the area were warned Tuesday night to evacuate, said Mendocino County sheriff's Lt. Shannon Barney.

The area was quickly ignited due to tinderbox conditions, and the fire was able to take root immediately.

Meanwhile, firefighters were engaged in a pitched battle to contain at least 19 major wildfires that have claimed at least six lives and charred hundreds of square miles in recent weeks. But he said the death toll could rise.

"We recognise that as people enter back into their neighbourhoods, they're going to know people, family members and neighbours that have lost homes", Moore said.

Sanchez' home was destroyed in the fire.

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There was some good news.

The fire, which is almost twice the size of Sacramento, was only 35 per cent contained after more than a week.

California state Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an emergency proclamation on July 28 for a number of areas now under the influence of aggressive wildfires.

A plane battling the Ferguson Fire passes the setting sun in unincorporated Mariposa County California, near Yosemite National Park, on July 15.

Yosemite Valley and other areas of the park have been closed to tourists since July 25 because of heavy smoke from the fire, which has burned almost 100 square miles (259 square kilometers) and is only partially contained.

A resident watches as a plume of smoke grows from the Ranch Fire (Mendocino Complex) in the hills north of Upper Lake, California, U.S. August 1, 2018.

More than 13,000 firefighters are being aided by crews from as far away as Florida, but Brown repeated predictions from fire officials that California can expect a future of devastating fires, in part because of the changing climate. The state spent a record $758 million a year ago.

Bacon reported from McLean, Va. Schultz reported for the Record Searchlight in Redding, California.

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