Utility worker killed near Northern California wildfire

Credit Google Crisis Map

The White House said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPastor at Trump rally prays to shield Trump from "jungle journalism" Bill Russell: Being criticized by Trump is the "biggest compliment you can get" Salmon farmers in California fear Trump will destroy their industry MORE has approved a disaster declaration for California as the state battles devastating wildfires.

The PG&E Corporation said on Sunday that a 21-year-old apprentice lineman, Jay Ayeta, had been killed when his vehicle crashed in western Shasta County as he worked with crews in unsafe terrain to battle the almost two-week-old Carr Fire.

"He was working in a remote area in risky terrain in supprt of power restoriation efforts", said Melissa Subbotin, a PG&E spokesperson.

Ayeta is the seventh person to die in the destructive fire burning for two weeks near Redding.

The agency says Sunday night that the Ranch Fire is now 23 per cent contained, and the River Fire is now 58 per cent contained.

This year, California wildfires have burned more land earlier in the fire season than usual, Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott said during a news conference on Saturday.

The deadly Redding wildfire burned so hot in dry and windy conditions that it birthed a record-breaking tornado of flame, officials said Friday. More than 1,000 homes have been razed and 9,000 residents remain evacuated from their homes, he said.

Two firefighters and four residents, including two children, were also killed.

KQED's Lesley McClurg and Kat Snow reported for NPRthat the fires have had lasting impacts on residents there, "Confronting constant reminders of what fire can do has become a terrifying reality for people who survived last year's flames and are still piecing their lives back together".

The National Weather Service has issued warnings for critical fire weather conditions Friday and Saturday as a series of dry low-pressure systems pass through the region, bringing gusts up to 35 miles per hour (56 kph) in the afternoon.

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

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Jane LaBoa said wildfire remains several miles from the evacuated communities along the eastern shore of Clear Lake. The Eel Fire is about 10 miles east of Covelo and is up to 1,000 acres.it's just 5 percent contained, and only 38 people are working on it. The complex fire is made up of the River Fire and the Ranch Fire.

Hundreds of colleagues, family and friends attended a memorial service Saturday in Fresno for National Forest Service Capt. Brian Hughes.

The National Park Service says that parts of Yosemite National Park will remain closed indefinitely because of growing fires in areas near and on the park.

It burned so furiously on July 26 that it created a "fire whirl". The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.

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