New wildfire erupts in Northern California

New wildfire erupts in Northern California

New wildfire erupts in Northern California

More of the tens of thousands of Northern California residents who fled a deadly wildfire were awaiting permission to return to their homes on Wednesday as firefighters gained more control of the sixth most destructive blaze in state history. The Ferguson Fire, burning near Yosemite, is almost 57,000 acres and is 30 percent contained.

The fire was burning in federal forest land and a handful of residents in the area were warned Tuesday night to evacuate, said Mendocino County sheriff's Lt. Shannon Barney. The new fires erupted without warning and spread with shocking speed through forest and brush that have literally become tinder, said Scott McLean of CalFire.

The fire is comprised of the Ranch Fire, which spans 13,000 acres located at Highway CA-20 about 8 miles to the northeast of Ukiah, and the River Fire, which totals 11,000 acres and is located 6 miles north of Hopland, said local fire authorities.

Just a month into the budget year, the state has already spent one quarter of its annual fire budget, at least $130 million. While no structures have been destroyed, 10 are now threatened as well as a campground.

"The weather has really been working with us", said Jude Olivas, a spokesman for the interagency firefighting team.

The Lake County seat of Lakeport remained under evacuation orders and was a virtual ghost town, although people were allowed back home in several smaller communities as firefighters shored up containment lines.

According to Cal Fire six homes have been destroyed by the Mendocino Complex fires and 10,200 structures are threatened.

"When the fires start, guys are pretty much ready to rock and roll". He bought his three-bedroom house previous year using a loan from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Ranch and River fires have charred more than 80,000 acres (32,000 hectares), with containment measured at 12 percent for the two together. "The fire burned actively throughout the night".

Gaston said her brother had wanted to stay in his own home, but he had spotty cell service and, with the power out, he might not have gotten word of the fire.

On Saturday, fire officials ordered evacuations.

"We're turning the corner", he said, adding that he hates "saying those things (because) this thing has made me a liar so many times". And parts of Yosemite National Park remain closed as firefighters battle a blaze there.

Yosemite National Park planned to reopen its treasured Yosemite Valley to all visitors late Friday as firefighters slowly gained the upper hand on the blaze.

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