California asks Trump for wildfire aid

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However, some days-old evacuations were lifted Friday in an area near Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft continue battling an enormous blaze about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the OR line.

The White House has approved a disaster declaration for Shasta County, California, where officials say the massive Carr Fire has killed seven people and is continuing to burn through homes and property.

A new mandatory evacuation order went out in Lake County late Friday morning for the Mendocino Complex Fire, according to authorities.

One of the most destructive fires in California history, the Carr fire is still raging about 260km north of the state capital Sacramento.

Two firefighters and four other people, including two children, have also been killed in connection with the fire.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) commanders said on Wednesday the fire, sparked by a vehicle on July 23, was burning with less intensity this week and posed little immediate threat to populated areas. To date, the fire has burned more than 140,000 acres and is about 40 percent contained, the governor's statement said. A Red Flag Warning is in effect in Lake County from 11 a.m. Friday until 11 p.m. Saturday due to gusty winds and low humidity in fire weather zones.

The River and Ranch fires had grown to cover a total of 229,000 acres by early Saturday, and were considered 34-per cent contained.

Yosemite Valley residents must leave the valley by noon Friday, National Park Service officials said.

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Dykema said wildfires typically create whirls, but rarely of the strength of the one recorded July 26.

The Carr Fire, located some 322 kilometers north of San Francisco, is still growing, CalFire said today. The fire continues to spread into the Mendocino National Forest and crews are scouting for opportunities ahead of the active fire's edge.

Those fires have forced the evacuation of 20,000 residents, and destroyed more than 100 structures. The twirling tower of flame reached speeds of 143 miles per hour, which rivaled some of the most destructive Midwest tornados, National Weather Service meteorologist Duane Dykema said. The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.

More than 14,000 firefighters are battling over a dozen major blazes throughout California, state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean said. Dry, hot winds fueled both blazes, which have collectively charred almost 400 square miles (1,036 square kilometres) of brush and timber.

The Carr Fire in northern California has burned more than 130,000 acres in a two-week span, killing six people, displacing 35,000, and destroying more than 1,500 buildings. Varney's radio wasn't communicating with headquarters, so his assistant relayed messages - until they lost contact.

A firefighter walks around a swimming pool sprayed by phos-chek fire retardant after an air tanker made a pass while fighting a wildfire near Lakeport, Calif.

The report called for better "risk assessment" among firefighters.

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