246 Square Kilometers, 400 Homes Ravages By Fire In California

California officials said the wildfire raging in northern part of the state continued to grow, destroying homes, businesses and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee.

The officials confirmed on Tuesday in Los Angeles that a disabled woman was killed on Saturday, as she fled the blaze.

“400 homes and at least 10 businesses have been destroyed.

“More than 23,000 people have been evacuated from the communities of Loch Lomond, Cobb, Siegler Canyon, Middletown and Hidden Valley Lakes.

The Cal Fire management agency, said the blaze started on Saturday and spread rapidly to burn 246 square kilometers in Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties as of Monday afternoon.

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California Governor, Jerry Brown, said the wildfires had been burning for a month and a half in northern California, and as a result of this he had declared a state of emergency.

He said an emergency declaration had been expanded to additional areas.

“Other blazes have scorched more than 287 square kilometres south-east of Sacramento, destroying homes and businesses.

“More than 3,000 firefighters are battling the flames,’’ he said.

The national fire information service disclosed that a fire threatening a grove of giant sequoia trees, some of the oldest and biggest trees in the world, had been contained by 40 per cent in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

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It said lightning started the so-called Rough Fire on July 31.

It said California and other western US states were prone to late summer wildfires that burnt dry brush.

The information service said the four years of drought that had parched fields and forests, contributed to make this year’s fire season, the most destructive in at least a decade.

It said wildfires in the U.S. in 2015 had burned more than 35,427 square kilometres so far, an area larger than Taiwan, and nearly the size of Switzerland.

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