The biggest blazes continue to burn north of San Francisco, including twin wildfires fueled by dry vegetation and hot, windy weather. The Ferguson Fire burning near Yosemite National Park has burned 80,755 acres (126 square miles) and is 36 percent contained on Saturday.
The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings of extreme fire danger through Saturday night because of low humidity and gusty winds.
Wildfires typically create whirls but rarely of the strength of the one recorded July 26, Dykema said.
Much of the destruction was caused by a tornado of flames that the National Weather Service said reached 143 miles per hour (230 kph) on July 26. The fire burning near Redding has grown to 206 square miles (533 square kilometers) and destroyed at least 1,060 homes. It was 34 percent contained.
The numbers are based on daily statistics provide by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and show how much land the fire has charred with each passing day.
As of Friday morning, CalFire reported that the Ranch Fire was at 112,226 acres and 28 percent containment and the River Fire at 41,512 acres and 50 percent containment. It is the 6th most destructive fire in California's history and has killed six people, destroyed 1,073 homes, and 506 other structures, and damaged 258 structures in total.
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The fire has reached into remote areas of the country's third-oldest national park.
Western Lake County had its advisory upgraded to a mandatory evacuation for the area west of Lucerne at Bartlett Springs Road and Highway 20, south of the fire, east of the fire, north of Clear Lake including the communities of Blue Lakes, Upper Lake, Nice, Lakeport, Witter Springs, Bachelor Valley, Scotts Valley and Saratoga Springs, according to a Mendocino National Forest incident update.
Workers who live in Yosemite's popular Valley region were ordered to leave Friday because of inaccessible roads.
His assistant had gone to get a new hydraulic hose.
On Thursday, a special contingent of 100 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand took off from Sydney en route to US assignments reinforcing exhausted fire crews in northern California, Oregon and Washington state. The report called for better "risk assessment" among firefighters.
Some evacuations were lifted Friday in an area near Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft have been battling an vast blaze about 100 miles south of the OR line.