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Extreme Conditions Expected as Firefighters Battle California Blazes

Extreme Conditions Expected as Firefighters Battle California Blazes

The fire has killed six people, including two firefighters, and destroyed 1,060 homes and almost 500 other buildings, including businesses, barns and warehouses, officials said.

The latest fire to erupt Wednesday in the wildfire-stricken county burned 45 acres off of Highway 101 south of Hopland, officials said. The Ferguson Fire, which has burned 63,798 acres, is 39 percent contained.

Approximately 90 large fires are now being fought in 14 states and nearly 400,000 hectares of ground has been lost.

The blaze in the Redding area, 225 miles (360 kilometers) north of San Francisco, is the largest of 18 wildfires burning throughout California.

The state spent more than $114 million fighting fires in July, the first month of California's fiscal year.

Meanwhile, firefighters were engaged in a pitched battle to contain at least 19 major wildfires that have claimed at least six lives and charred hundreds of square miles in recent weeks.

Only approximately 3800 state prison inmates in California meet the minimum-custody and low-risk requirements for the firefighting assignment.

"We know one of the most stressful things during a disaster is information", Shasta County Fire Chief Mike Hebrard acknowledged.

A helicopter carries water to drop on an advancing wildfire near Finley, California.

"Unstable conditions, shifting winds, steep terrain and dry fuels continue to challenge firefighters", a state fire update warned, noting that 35-mph wind gusts were expected on ridgetops that could whip up the flames. Neither fire is reported to have injured anyone.

The fire was still active in certain spots in the afternoon, but was not running toward communities, Cal Fire's Steve Moore said.

"We're in for a really rough ride", Brown said at the news conference.

The destructive Carr Fire may have caused some to bend, but when we stand together, we will never break. "We're being surprised. Every year is teaching the fire authorities new lessons".

A red flag warning was issued Thursday for parts of Northern California, including Redding, which has already been devastated by the massive Carr fire. They are 24 percent contained.

U.S. geoscientist Noah Diffenbaugh, who specialises in the link betweem extreme weather and climate, told USA media that global warming was a contributing factor to the duration and severity of the fire season.