Brown Asks Trump for Wildfire Aid as State Battles 17 Blazes

Fire burns slowly down the hill north of the town of Upper Lake

Fire burns slowly down the hill north of the town of Upper Lake last night

The White House on Saturday approved California's request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Shasta County.

Increasing winds are expected in Northern California areas where deadly and destructive wildfires are burning.

Gov. Jerry Brown was scheduled to visit the fire area in Shasta County on Saturday.

Others killed since the beginning of the Carr Fire are Don Ray Smith, 81, of Pollock Pines, a private bulldozer operator killed while trying to contain the flames; fire inspector Jeremy Stoke, a Redding firefighter since 2004 who was killed battling the fire Thursday night; 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe and her great-grandchildren Emily, 4, and James, 5.

"Tragedies bring people together", he added.

There are 17 wildfires now burning across the state.

State, tribal and other local governments and non-profit organizations will also have access to federal funds for emergency work and to fix or replace damaged facilities, it added.

Evacuations continue to be updated and can be searched on the Mendocino County Sheriff Facebook page, Mendocino County Sheriff's Twitter feed and the Cal Fire MEU Facebook and Twitter feeds.

A seventh person was killed by the wildfires that have ravaged the western U.S. state of California.

Fire tornado caught on camera by firefighters amid California's Carr fire. The largest of the two fires was 50 percent contained.

Saturday 10:50 a.m.

Authorities are ordering residents along a Northern California lake to evacuate homes in the path of a growing wildfire amid concerns that hot, windy and dry weather conditions will persist throughout the weekend.

A Pacific Gas and Electric crew member was killed Saturday evening while working in a wilderness area near Redding, becoming the seventh known death so far in the two-week old Carr Fire.

Those gusts were slowing efforts in the steep, rugged terrain to carve out buffer zones in front of the fire's leading edge, said Gabriel Lauderdale, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).

California fire officials said Saturday that the Ranch and River fires of the Mendocino Complex, burning near Ukiah and Clear Lake, grew to nearly a combined 250 square miles (201,000 acres).

The wildfire, which started over a week ago, is at almost 142,000 acres, destroying 1,073 homes.

On Thursday, the National Weather Service said that, according to preliminary information, the winds of the column were moving at speeds of 143 miles per hour, classifying it as an EF-3 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which rates tornado intensity on a range of zero to five. The cause of the fire remains under investigation; The Los Angeles Times also reports that some "have blamed the start of the massive blaze on a vehicle towing a trailer with a flat tire, its metal rim creating sparks as it rolled along".

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