Wildfires scorch homes, land - and California's firefighting budget

In pictures: California wildfires rage on

It has become the sixth most destructive wildfire in state history. The Ranch Fire moved into sparsely populated areas, but the River Fire ran through an area with scattered ranches northwest of Lakeport, California. "We are part of that process", he said.

"We've started off with a bang, " Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said.

Brown, speaking at a news conference Wednesday, said the state's exploding population combined with climate change has conspired to create ripe conditions for the prodigious blazes.

Tuesday afternoon winds pushed the two blazes that comprise the Mendocino Complex of Fires farther east, both spreading for at least a mile.

Brown said that only a month into the current budget year California has already spent $125 million, a quarter of its fire budget.

Six people, including two firefighters, have died and the fire has destroyed 1060 homes and almost 500 other buildings, including barns and warehouses, making it the sixth most destructive wildfire in California history, state fire officials said.

Carol Smith and her family walked into their hillside neighborhood Thursday to find her home reduced to mangled metal and piles of bricks after a massive Northern California wildfire leveled more than 1,000 homes. The Ferguson Fire, which has claimed the lives of two firefighters, had burned nearly 100 square miles and was 39 percent contained after burning for nearly three weeks.

Two fires in Mendocino County, the River Fire, which is 38 percent contained, and the Ranch Fire, 15 percent contained, have consumed almost 100,000 acres.

The Carr Fire was the result of a "Mechanical Failure of Vehicle" according to the California State incident report.

The two fires have killed eight people, with the Carr Fire alone responsible for six of the deaths.

A fire crew from San Luis Obispo County keeps an eye on an advancing wildfire from the perimeter of a residence Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Lakeport, Calif. Evacuation orders remained in effect Tuesday for the town of Lakeport, the county seat, along with some smaller communities and a section of the Mendocino National Forest. "Low humidity, heat and wind will continue to challenge firefighters throughout the day today".



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