Firefighters struggle to contain giant blazes

Lakeport: Thousands of firefighters were struggling on Thursday to contain two vast wildfires in California, one of which has become one of the most destructive blazes in the state’s history. The Carr Fire has scorched 12,600 acres (51,00 hectares) of land since July 23, when authorities say it was triggered by the “mechanical failure of a vehicle” that caused sparks to fly in tinderbox dry conditions.
The fire has also razed 1,465 buildings, including some 1,000 homes, making it the sixth most destructive blaze in the history of the fire-prone western state.
More than 4,200 firefighters have been deployed to battle the conflagration but they have only succeeded in containing 35 per cent of it so far.
Another major blaze known as the Ferguson Fire broke out near the popular Yosemite National Park almost three weeks ago, on July 13, and was only 39 per cent contained by Thursday, officials said.
It has burned 68,610 acres of land, of which 5,700 went up in smoke on Wednesday night alone.
“The high pressure system above the fire is weakening throughout the week, resulting in warmer and drier conditions. This will increase fire behaviour,” warned Inciweb, which provides updates on the fires.
The two fires have killed eight people, with the Carr Fire alone responsible for six of the deaths.
Other fires raging in the state include the Mendocino Complex. It’s made up of two blazes. — AFP