Over 13,000 people evacuated due to California fires

Los Angeles, Aug 4 (IANS/EFE) Drought-stricken California woke on Monday to a score of active fires after spending the weekend in a state of emergency because of blazes that have destroyed thousands of acres, burned dozens of homes and forced the evacuation of more than 13,000 people.

According to the latest report by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, the most serious situation on Monday continues to be in the northern part of the state due to ongoing high winds and lightning strikes.

The largest active fire at this time, the Rocky Fire, is burning in a rural area north of Sacramento and the vineyards of Napa Valley.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant reported on Monday that the fire has burned more than 24,200 hectares, destroying 24 residences and 26 other structures.

The number of evacuees stands at almost 13,200 and authorities expect they will need another week to completely extinguish the blaze.

Almost 3,000 people are working to contain and put out the fire, a third of the total personnel who are deployed throughout the area to halt the advance of the flames that on July 30 took the life of David Ruhl, a fire captain in the Black Hills National Forest.

Ruhl disappeared on Thursday night during the initial operations to contain the Frog Fire, in the Modoc National Forest.

Rescue teams on Friday morning found a body that they believe is Ruhl’s, something that will be determined by the autopsy that will be performed this week.

Trinity county, near the Oregon border, currently is the site of two of the state’s most extensive fires.

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