Fires in California - level 3

Fires in California - level 3

12-08-2015 07:00

In five days, this raging wildfire has doubled in size. It’s left two dozen homes in charred ruins and thousands of people have had to leave. The fire has scorched about 54,000 acres in an area east of Lower Lake, which is about 110 miles (177 kilometres) north of San Francisco.

It's the worst of 20 large fires being battled by nine thousand firefighters across the state. A separate blaze that killed a US forest ranger on Thursday near the Oregon border has also expanded, but remains a fraction of the size.

Some 20,000 acres of shrub oak and birch were ravaged by the fire, over a five-hour period on Saturday night. By Sunday evening, the fire had blackened another 7,000 acres along eastern flanks of California's northern coast ranges.

Authorities said the fire destroyed 24 homes and 26 outbuildings and continues to threaten a further 6,300 structures. More than 12,000 people have received mandatory evacuation orders. 2,070 personnel which is around a third of the state's force were battling the fire on Sunday evening.

Difficult words: rage (destructive), char (to blacken), scorch (to burn the surface of something), blaze (a fire), shrub (a woody plant which is smaller than a tree), ravage (to damage a lot), flank (a side), range (a line of mountains), outbuilding (a building near a house), mandatory (you must do things which are mandatory).


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