Its size overtook the deadly Carr Fire, about 160km to the northeast, which is among 18 significant wildfires burning across California and 106 in the United States. The Carr Fire has scorched 126,00 acres (51,00 hectares) of land since July 23, when authorities say it was triggered by the "mechanical failure of a vehicle" that caused sparks to fly in tinderbox dry conditions.
"I expect to see that Ranch Fire continue to grow, and just surpass on its own the Carr Fire", said McLean. A Red Flag Warning is in effect in Lake County from 11 a.m. Friday until 11 p.m. Saturday due to gusty winds and low humidity in fire weather zones. Two firefighters have died there.
The Carr Fire spawned a "fire whirl" of flames and winds in excess of 143 miles per hour (230 kph) on July 26 that had the strength of a severe tornado and uprooted trees and toppled power lines, according to a tweet by the National Weather Service.
Dykema says the whirl started when hot air from the exceptionally hot fire rose and twisted tightly, creating a powerful tornado of flames and wind. - Two firefighters were killed fighting the blaze and three people, a 70 year old woman and her two great-grandchildren age four and five, perished when their Redding home was rapidly swallowed up by flames.
The 206-square-mile (533-square-kilometer) Carr Fire 100 miles south of the OR border was 39 percent contained after destroying 1,060 homes and many other structures.
The blaze burned so furiously on July 26 that it created a "fire whirl".
In the Sierra Nevada, firefighters achieved 41 percent containment of a 115-square-mile (298-square-kilometer) forest fire that has shut down Yosemite Valley and other adjacent portions of Yosemite National Park at what is normally the height of summer tourism. "We are routinely now seeing fires reach 100,000 acres several times in one month and it's only July, so we have a long way to go in this fire season, and as we saw previous year fire season can go right up through December".
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