Crews battling two dozen tenacious wildfires in drought-stricken California rushed in reinforcements, using a window of humidity and cooler temperatures to try quench the blazes ahead of a forecast spell of drier weather.
More than 10,000 firefighters are now tackling the fires that have forced thousands to flee their homes and ravaged large tracts of land in the most populous US state.
The biggest blaze in northern California, dubbed the Rocky Fire, has drawn in 3,478 firefighters. Valiant efforts by fellow crews meanwhile had brought two other fires — one in Shasta County and another in Los Angeles County — under control, CAL FIRE said.
But new fires continued to pop up and quickly spread, abetted by one of the worst droughts in California on record.
“Tinder dry conditions from the drought continue to allow wildfires to burn at an explosive rate,” said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or CAL FIRE.
The state is bringing in extra crews from southern California to the hard-hit north, and making firefighters already on the ground work overtime and cancel days off, CAL FIRE spokesman Daniel Berlant told MSNBC. The week-old Rocky Fire has forced more than 13,000 people to evacuate their homes. State-wide, at least 142,000 acres of land have burned so far. (AFP)