DISASTERS: FIRE : UNITED STATES: STATES: CALIFORNIA : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : DISASTERS: DROUGHT: California Wildfires Torch 134,000 Acres -- and Counting


David P. Dillard
 

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DISASTERS: FIRE :

UNITED STATES: STATES: CALIFORNIA :

ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

DISASTERS: DROUGHT:

California Wildfires Torch 134,000 Acres -- and Counting

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California Wildfires Torch 134,000 Acres -- and Counting

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(CNN)Firefighters worked Monday in steep terrain and other rugged conditions to fight California's Rocky Fire, one of nearly two dozen wildfires that have torched more than 134,000 acres of the parched state this year, according to state fire officials.

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That's nearly three times the state's 5-year wildfire average of 48,153 acres for this time of year, according to statistics posted by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

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At 60,000 acres, the Rocky Fire is the largest ongoing blaze. It's led to evacuation orders for more than 13,000 people as it feeds on drought-parched vegetation that hasn't seen fire in many years, according to Cal Fire.

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The fire, which is in Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties northwest of Sacramento, was 12% contained, the agency said.

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"This has been a very fast-moving wildfire, with the dry conditions and the weather not really cooperating with us over the past week," Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant told CNN affiliate KCRA.

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More than 2,900 firefighters, 285 engines, four air tankers and 19 helicopters are involved in that fight, Cal Fire says.

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Compared with the state's top 20 deadliest fires, which have burned 100,000 acres or more of land, "this fire does not compare," spokesman Berlant told CNN.

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But the fire is unique because of the rate it has burned. It chewed through 20,000 acres in about five hours, he said.

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Across the state, nearly 10,000 firefighters are working on 21 fires, officials say.

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Fires big and small

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Cal Fire says most of the fires are more than 60% contained. But damage has been substantial in some cases. Fires in Southern California's San Bernardino County and Northern California's Alpine County have affected nearly 50,000 acres.

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Other fires include the Frog Fire, which has burned about 4,200 acres since Thursday. Lower temperatures, higher humidity and clouds helped firefighters push containment to 20%, according to the national fire tracking website InciWeb. The Lake Fire in San Bernardino County burned more than 31,000 acres before it was contained.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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