Thousands more mountain residents were evacuated from the path of California's biggest wildfire on Friday as tired firefighters battled gusting winds driving one of the state's worst fire seasons in a decade.
Since 2008, California has experienced nine of the top 20 most destructive wildfires in its history in terms of structures burned, according to a CalFire report.
Redding Fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke was killed while battling the blaze, leaving behind his wife and two children.
Forecasters said the highest threat areas included the so-called Carr Fire near the city of Redding and the Mendocino Complex of two fires north of San Francisco. Both areas remain under a "red flag warning" due to the dry, hot weather and windy conditions.
This comes as the complex fire grows to a combined 157,250 acres, with at least 41homes destroyed, and 9,200 still threatened.
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Four wildland firefighters have died in California this year, twice as many as in all of 2017.
The Redding fire has grown to 206 square miles (533-square-kilometer) and has destroyed 1,060 homes and many other structures. The Ranch Fire moved into sparsely populated areas, but the River Fire ran through an area with scattered ranches northwest of Lakeport, California.
A wildfire churning among mountain towns in Mendocino County in California mushroomed into the largest in the state on Friday, threatening 9,200 homes, as tired firefighters battled gusting winds fanning multiple other blazes.
An air tanker drops fire retardent to try to contain flames from the Carr fire as it spreads towards the town of Lewiston near Redding, California, on August 2, 2018. The latest evacuation orders for Shasta County's Carr Fire, Mendocino County's Complex Fire People in the area have been advised to leave immediately.
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).
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Another fire located 100 miles to the northeast has already seen six deaths with 41 percent of that blaze reportedly under control. 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 64,000 acres (258 square kilometres) and is only 39 per cent contained.
A California bulldozer operator almost slipped off a steep mountain trail three times before his vehicle finally rolled into a ravine and fatally crushed him.
Braden Varney, 36, was working alone overnight July 14 fighting the wildfire while his assistant went to get a new hydraulic hose.
Varney was a 10-year veteran.
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