White House approves disaster relief for deadly NorCal Carr Fire

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The White House said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPastor at Trump rally prays to shield Trump from "jungle journalism" Bill Russell: Being criticized by Trump is the "biggest compliment you can get" Salmon farmers in California fear Trump will destroy their industry MORE has approved a disaster declaration for California as the state battles devastating wildfires.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company tells ABC News a crew member was doing restoration work in Shasta County when an unspecified accident happened.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said that fire was started two weeks ago by sparks from the steel wheel of a towed-trailer's flat tire.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which uses acres to describe fire size, said the blaze had blackened almost 206 square miles (533 square kilometers).

The Lake and Mendocino county fires, known as the Mendocino Complex, have destroyed 55 structures and continue to threaten thousands more, burning through more than 200,000 acres and leading to 18,000 residents being evacuated.

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A sign by the side of the road warns of the threat of wildfires which have been fuelled by continued hot weather outside the town of Colfax, California. The fires are threatening about 9,000 homes.

A team of 188 specialist Australian and New Zealand firefighters are also on the ground in California to help battle the blazes. "Tragedies bring people together".

Both areas remained under a "red flag warning" issued by the National Weather Service for strong winds, low relative humidity and temperatures topping 32 degrees Celsius, all conditions that can drive the growth of wildfires.

Several thousand people have been evacuated as the fires swept across the state, although some have been given permission in recent days to return to their homes.

"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized", he tweeted.

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The two fires cover an area larger than the Carr Fire that damaged parts of Redding last week.

President Trump has declared that a major disaster exists in California, paving the way for federal money and aid.

Hundreds of colleagues, family and friends attended a memorial service Saturday in Fresno for National Forest Service Capt. Brian Hughes, the Fresno Bee reported. The twirling tower of flame reached speeds of 143 miles per hour (230 kph), which rivaled some of the most destructive Midwest tornados, National Weather Service meteorologist Duane Dykema said. He was killed July 29 by a falling tree while fighting the blaze that has closed Yosemite at the height of tourist season.

Wildfires typically create whirls but rarely of the strength of the one recorded July 26, Dykema said.

The larger one, the Ranch Fire, has consumed more than 207,000 acres, a lot of them in the Mendocino National Forest.

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