Brown asks Trump for wildfire aid as state battles 17 blazes

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A couple of fast-growing wildfires in northern California expanded to more than two-thirds the size of sprawling Los Angeles as more residents were ordered to evacuate their homes and tired firefighters endured high temperatures and gusting winds.

PG&E power company identified the worker today as Jairus Ayeta, who was killed in a remote area of Shasta county where crews were working to restore electricity.

The fire has also razed more than 1,600 buildings, including some 1,000 homes, making it the sixth most destructive blaze in the history of the fire-prone western state, state officials say.

Other fires raging in the state include the Mendocino Complex, comprised of two blazes: the River Fire and the Ranch Fire.

California fire officials said Saturday that the two fires about 100 miles north grew to nearly 250 square miles (648 kilometers).

This year, California wildfires have burned more land earlier in the fire season than usual, Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott said during a news conference on Saturday.

Dry, hot winds fueled both blazes, which have collectively charred almost 400 square miles (1,036 square kilometers) of brush and timber. More than 1,000 homes have been razed and 9,000 residents remain evacuated from their homes, he said.

More residents were ordered to evacuate their homes this weekend as tired firefighters endured high temperatures and gusting winds.

The declaration makes federal funding available to individuals and business owners in Shasta County for temporary housing and home repairs, losses on uninsured property and other recovery programs, the White House said in a statement.

"Tragedies bring people together", he added.

The two fires cover an area larger than the wildfire that damaged parts of Redding, California last week and continues to grow. Those fires have forced the evacuation of 20,000 residents, and destroyed more than 100 structures.

Brown, who inspected neighborhoods wiped out by the fire in Redding, said he was confident the president he has clashed with over immigration and pollution policies would send aid, which Mr. Trump did a year ago when California's wine country was hit hard. Four of the state's largest six fires have occurred since 2012.

Authorities said there are 17 major fires burning throughout California.

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, which rivaled some of the most destructive Midwest tornados, National Weather Service meteorologist Duane Dykema said.

The larger one, the Ranch Fire, has consumed more than 207,000 acres, a lot of them in the Mendocino National Forest. The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.

A structure burns out of control in the River Fire (Mendocino Complex) in Lakeport, California, U.S. July 31, 2018.

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