The explosive wildfire around Redding in northern California is now believed to be the ninth most destructive in state history, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean says. The blaze known as the Carr Fire, which has killed two firefighters and four civilians, including two children, has destroyed 818 homes and 311 outbuildings and damaged 165 homes, McLean says. More than 27,000 people remained evacuated from their homes although another 10,000 were allowed to return Monday as fire crews reinforced lines on the western end of the blaze. Fire officials were hopeful that they could make progress against the blaze, which was 23% contained.
Authorities have also ordered evacuations of nearly 20,000 people around twin fires in Mendocino and Lake counties, including from the 4,700-resident town of Lakeport on the shores of Clear Lake, about 120 miles north of San Francisco. The blazes have destroyed seven homes and threaten 10,000 others. Those fires are among 17 burning across the state, where fire crews were stretched to the limit. "We have experienced fires the last four years, and so we're very aware of what can happen with fires and the damage they can cause," Lake County Sheriff Lt. Corey Paulich says. (The Carr Fire started with a vehicle breakdown.)