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California’s Redding fire now sixth largest in state history

by Les Sillars
Posted 8/01/18, 02:42 pm

A massive wildfire continues to rampage through Northern California, torching more than 1,000 homes in and around the city of Redding, authorities said Wednesday. What is now the sixth most destructive fire in state history also destroyed another 440 buildings, mostly barns and warehouses. The huge blaze, which started July 23, has forced 38,000 people from their homes and killed six while scorching 180 square miles. It is 35 percent contained. “Whatever resources are needed, we’re putting them there,” promised Gov. Jerry Brown at a news conference. “Every year is teaching the fire authorities new lessons. We’re in uncharted territory.”

New fires continue to explode in what seems like an endless summer of flames in the Golden State. Places hit lately include Lakeport, near Mendocino National Forest north of San Francisco, and an area near Yuba City, north of Sacramento. “It just goes on and on,” said state fire spokesman Scott McLean. Rain early in the year grew lots of grass and brush, he said, creating “a Catch-22. It’s growing more product to catch on fire.”


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Les Sillars

Les directs the journalism program at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., and is WORLD Magazine’s Mailbag editor.

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