Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown Warns Wildfires Could Hurt State's Economy

A satellite image provided by Digital Globe taken last week shows the Carr wildfire in Redding Calif

"I'm waiting to probably break down any minute here". Jerry Brown warned Wednesday that this very busy fire season is "the new normal". "We're kind of anxious to get in there".

The request was made to Australia by the National Multi-Agency Coordination Group in the United States, which is co-ordinating the efforts of several emergency response agencies, including the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).

The blaze in the Redding area, 225 miles (360 kilometers) north of San Francisco, is the largest of 18 wildfires burning throughout California.

Tens of thousands of people across California are waiting to return home or assess what remains of their homes after the fires.

Six people, including two firefighters, have died and the fire has destroyed 1060 homes and almost 500 other buildings, including barns and warehouses, making it the sixth most destructive wildfire in California history, state fire officials said. Fire crews from across the United States are being sent to California to help the firefighters there, many of whom are stretched to their limits as they battle 17 wildfires across the state. They'll not only be battling the fire, but shifting winds and hilly terrain. High temperatures, low humidity and afternoon winds along with low fuel moistures are aiding large fire growth, fire officials said. They were protecting structures, then getting chased out by flames, and reestablishing a defense at another structure.

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Following years of drought and a summer of record-breaking heat, vast tracts of forests, chaparral and grasslands have become tinder that allows even a small spark to explode into a devouring blaze, authorities said.

Cal Fire did not report that any structures were damaged, though Highway 49 at China Hill Road remained closed to nonresidents.

Twin fires also burned in Mendocino and Lake counties.

The fire is 196 square miles - more than three times the size of the city of Redding.

Relief crews came from other areas to Redding on Wednesday so firefighters could be together and grieve the death of colleague Jeremy Stoke, Chief Cullen Kreider said.

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