Wildfires continue to advance across Northern California as firefighters gain ground

By Scott Wilson
Washington Post
October 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…While firefighters have made gains in containing more than a dozen fires in Northern California during the past week, here in the Valley of the Moon, the burn risk is still high. The fire’s advance from the peaks of Sugar Loaf and Hood mountains has been steady, despite the gentle wind. As the sun rose Monday, exhausted firefighters changed shifts in a thick, ground-level smoke. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials organized lines at the edge of the valley floor as the blaze threatened to roar down through windblown canyons. … California officials say 41 people have died and more than 3,500 buildings have burned, most of them houses. … But the fire’s stubborn advance also highlights the conditions working against its containment: hillsides of oak and pine that are dry as tinder, a rugged topography often unnavigable by large teams and trucks, and a shifting wind that will decide the fate of this valley regardless of the resources in place now.

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