Trump urged to provide wildfire aid as California battles 17 blazes

The fires have destroyed hundreds of homes, killed eight people and shut down Yosemite National Park.

Flames from a wildfire advance down a hillside, towering over homes near Lakeport, California (Kent Porter /The Press Democrat via AP)
Flames from a wildfire advance down a hillside, towering over homes near Lakeport, California (Kent Porter /The Press Democrat via AP)

The governor of California has called on US President Donald Trump to help the state fight and recover from another devastating wildfire season.

Jerry Brown made the appeal as he inspected neighbourhoods wiped out by a wildfire in the northern California city of Redding.

Mr Brown said he was confident the president he has clashed with over immigration and pollution policies would send aid, which Mr Trump did last year when California’s wine country was hit hard.

“The president has been pretty good on helping us in disasters, so I’m hopeful,” said Mr Brown, a Democrat. “Tragedies bring people together.”

A sign announcing the closure of Yosemite National Park (Noah Berger/AP)

Mr Brown’s call for help came shortly before authorities called on residents in Glenn and Colusa counties in northern California to evacuate as a wildfire there continues to grow.

Cal Fire issued the evacuation order on Saturday night for people who live in several parts of the counties, including an area just east of the boundary of Mendocino National Forest.

The blaze, known as the Mendocino Complex fire, has grown to 357 square miles and is 32% contained, according to Cal Fire.

The National Weather Service forecasts hot and windy conditions to persist in northern California.

There are 17 major fires burning throughout California, authorities said. In all, they have destroyed hundreds of homes, killed eight people – including four firefighters – and shut down Yosemite National Park.

Hundreds of colleagues, family and friends attended a memorial service on Saturday in Fresno for National Forest Service Captain Brian Hughes. He was killed on July 29 by a falling tree while fighting the wildfire that has closed Yosemite National Park at the height of the tourist season.

Firefighters have achieved 41% containment of that forest fire.

The fire had reached into remote areas of the country’s third-oldest national park. Workers who live in Yosemite’s popular Valley region were ordered to leave on Friday because of inaccessible roads.

The biggest blazes continue to burn north of San Francisco, including twin wildfires fuelled by dry vegetation and hot, windy weather.

Those fires destroyed 55 homes and forced thousands of residents to flee their neighbourhoods about 100 miles north of the city. They have grown to a combined 300 square miles.

The two fires have charred an area of the forested, rural area five times the size of San Francisco and were only 27% contained.

Press Association

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