Wildfires across NorCal prompt state of emergency

Wildfires across Northern California have prompted the governor to take immediate action.

On Saturday, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency, securing firefighting cost reimbursement for local and state agencies responding to the fires.

Blazing temperatures and extreme drought conditions have wreaked havoc as crews battle more than a dozen wildfires in California and Oregon.

The wildfires have scorched more than 21,000 acres across the two states and hundreds of buildings are still at risk.

Several counties are affected, including Lassen, Shasta, Madera and Siskiyou Counties. Three of the fires were caused by lightning. Evacuations are in place for at least four towns. Among the cities are Hat Creek, Cassel, Big Eddy Estates and Johnson Park.

As a number of wild fires continue to devour thousands of acres in the northern region of the state, firefighters are getting special help from the Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing.

Two C-130J military aircraft landed at McClellan Airfield on Saturday. Cal Fire and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services requested the aerial assistance.

"This particular airplane drops between 3,000 gallons of retardant and the airplane is also used for every other air force mission that can be imagined," 146th Airlift Wing pilot Lt. Col. Bill Willson said.

Ground Crews continued to work on the Day Fire burning in Modoc County. It has burned more than 12,000 acres and threatens about 200 structures. Aerial assistance has slowed the fire's progression.

"We put two loads of retardant on it," Wilson said. "It's currently burning to the southeast and we protected a town to the north."

Several strike teams from the area, including Sacramento and Stanislaus are en route to the Day Fire.

"It's essentially a predictable fire season today," Wilson said. "But tomorrow, that may change very rapidly, so mother nature has a tendency to have her own design on how she wants to start fires, and most of these fires were started by lightning strikes."


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