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Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

President Trump Grants California ‘Major Disaster’ Relief for Wildfires

President Trump Grants California ‘Major Disaster’ Relief for Wildfires

The Mendocino Complex fires have swelled to become larger than the deadly Carr Fire, about 160 km to the northeast, which has killed at least six people and destroyed more than 1,500 structures.

The Carr Fire, which incinerated 1,067 homes, started with sparks from the steel wheel of a towed-trailer's flat tire, Department of Agriculture and Fire Prevention officials said. If it is considered a tornado, this destructive whirl would be the most powerful in California's history.

The Democratic governor said he was confident the Republican president he has clashed with over immigration and pollution policies would send aid, which Trump did previous year when the California's wine country was hit hard.

A blackened landscape is shown from wildfire damage near Keswick, California.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday toured Redding neighborhoods wiped out by flames and called on President Donald Trump to help California fight and recover from the devastating wildfire season.

More evacuations were ordered Saturday afternoon for an area of Mendocino and Lake counties where the week-old twin fires are threatening about 9,000 homes. Fire officials said another 8,000 homes and other buildings were threatened - down from about 12,000 homes initially threatened as firefighters made progress in some areas even as the blaze expanded in others.

California's current year-round fire season is producing more extreme and destructive blazes than in the past.

Smoke from the Carr Fire and Mendocino Complex fires will continue to impact air quality.

Brown also stressed that California must continue to lessen the effects of climate change, which is blamed for exacerbating the warm and dry conditions that lead to wildfires.

Both areas remained under a "red flag warning" issued by the National Weather Service for strong winds, low relative humidity and temperatures topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), all conditions that can drive the growth of wildfires. In all, they have destroyed hundreds of homes, killed nine people - including four firefighters - and shut down Yosemite National Park.

On Sunday, the National Park Service announced that parts of Yosemite National Park will remain closed indefinitely because of growing fires in areas near and on the park.

An estimated 14,000 people were under evacuation orders and the U.S. Forest Service said the fires continued to grow rapidly thanks to hot, dry windy weather and tinder-dry brush. Some areas on the fire's southeastern flank were reopened to residents.

The fires have burned nearly one-half million acres since June and destroyed more than 2,000 structures, it added. The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.

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.

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