Rocky Fire Burns Several Structures in California; Homes Evacuated | The …

1 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

California Guard joins fight as several blazes thrust Northern California into wildfire season.

LOWER LAKE, Calif. (AP) — A series of wildfires blackened the golden hills of California on Friday, egged on by bone-dry vegetation, triple-digit temperatures and gusting winds. A fast-moving fire north of Napa Valley continued to grow Friday as new evacuations were ordered for residents in a nearby rural town, authorities said.LOWER LAKE, CA – JULY 30: A Cal Fire firefighter rides on the side of a fire engine while battling the Rocky Fire on July 30, 2015 in Lower Lake, California. A handful of homes have been consumed by the flames and hundreds of people chased from their houses as thousands of firefighters work to corral the blazes. “They only need a little wind to allow them to burn at an explosive rate,” said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection. At least 650 residents have been evacuated from their homes as the blaze raged in hills covered in dense brush and oak trees and dotted with ranch homes.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department issued the mandatory evacuation for Jerusalem Valley residents near the fire before 10 a.m. after the blaze moved north and jumped a road. The fire is currently zero percent contained and has destroyed three homes. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) LAKE COUNTY (CBS SF) – The fast-spreading Rocky Fire grew overnight, charring another 2,000 acres of rugged terrain in Lake County, about 100 miles northeast of San Francisco. The California National Guard said Thursday that it is sending in a fleet of nine helicopters — Blackhawks, Chinooks and Lakotas — to back up Cal Fire crews.

Water-dropping aircraft and firefighters on the ground are working around the clock to douse fast-moving flames and dig a containment line around the blaze, according to the Cal Fire. It has charred 23 square miles near Lower Lake, south of Clear Lake, a popular summer recreation spot. “I like to sleep with a flashlight under my pillow and my shoes at the base of my bed to be prepared,” she said. “The community is coming together and looking at what’s important. We should be ready for disaster.” A separate fire near the small town of Isleton in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta burned six or seven mobile homes Thursday evening before firefighters got it under control, said Steve Cantelme, chief of the Sacramento office of Emergency Services.

Firefighters were still assessing the damage caused by the massive blaze, but officials said flames have so far destroyed three structures and multiple outbuildings. A small fire near Groveland, a stop-off point for travelers headed to Yosemite National Park, has forced evacuations, but state Highway 120 remains open. Around the state, 14 large fires, mostly in the scorched northern half of the state, are pushing 7,000 firefighters to their limits as they battle flames amid drought.

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