A seventh person died in a northern California wildfire Saturday, officials said, as a couple of other fast-growing wildfires in the state expanded by more than 25% overnight and continued to spread.
More residents were ordered to evacuate their homes as weary firefighters endured high temperatures and gusting winds.
The fire, about 261 km north of Sacramento,claimed the life of a power company lineman Saturday, according to a CBS affiliate citing a spokesperson for the PG&E Corporation.Neither a spokesperson with the electric company nor fire officials were immediately available for comment.
No other details about the death were made public.
The Carr fire, one of the most destructive in California history, had already killed six people, including a great-grandmother and two children and a firefighter and bulldozer operator.
Two other blazes collectively called the Mendocino Complex burned in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties, about 90 miles north of San Francisco. The River and Ranch fires had grown to cover a total of 92 600 hectares by early Saturday and were considered 34% contained.
The scorched land figure is expected to rise when the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) issues an update on Saturday night, spokesperson Tricia Austin said.
This year, California wildfires have burned more land earlier in the “fire season” than usual, said Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director, during a news conference on Saturday.
“Fire season is really just beginning. What seems like we should be in the peak of fire season, historically, is really now the kind of conditions we’re seeing really at the beginning,” said Pimlott.
California Governor Jerry Brown, who visited some of the burned areas on Saturday, said, “This is part of a trend, the new normal, that we’ve got to deal with.”