FIRE MAP: Mendocino Complex Fire as of Thursday morning

Firefighters try to control the fire in Carr as it continues to spread

A fast-growing California wildfire that has already forced thousands to flee their homes and shut down a large national park surged overnight into Saturday, as tired firefighters battled gusting winds.

Pacific Gas and Electric spokeswoman Melissa Subbotin says the worker sustained fatal injuries in a vehicle-related accident Saturday on the western edge of the Carr fire in Shasta County. Jairus Ayeta, who was in his 20s, worked as an apprentice lineman and was part of a PG&E crew working in "dangerous terrain" to restore power, she said.

"The Mendocino Complex fire remains a dynamic and rapidly changing challenge for firefighters, with additional evacuation orders issued on Saturday and thousands of structures remaining threatened by the massive wildfire".

As the acreage burned by the Mendocino Complex fires exceeded that of the Carr Fire, its evacuation zone expanded to cover a large swath north of Clear Lake.

A team of 188 specialist Australian and New Zealand firefighters are also on the ground in California to help battle the blazes.

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"Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-priced loans to cover uninsured property loses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster", the White House said.

"These kinds of frightful situations bring people together, regardless of the lesser kind of ideologies and partisan considerations", Brown told a news conference Saturday.

The National Weather Service has issued warnings for critical fire weather conditions Friday and Saturday as a series of dry low-pressure systems pass through the region, bringing gusts up to 35 miles per hour (56 kph) in the afternoon.

At its peak, the Carr Fire forced more than 35,000 Shasta and Trinity county residents to seek temporary shelter and led to the evacuations of thousands more. The largest of the two fires was 50 percent contained. The Eel Fire is about 10 miles east of Covelo and is up to 1,000 acres.it's just 5 percent contained, and only 38 people are working on it. We do manage all of our rivers in California, and all the water is allocated many times over.

The Mendocino is one of 17 major wildfires burning across California that prompted US President Donald Trump on Sunday to declare a "major disaster" in the state, ordering federal funding to be made available to help recovery efforts.

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Hundreds of colleagues, family and friends attended a memorial service Saturday in Fresno for National Forest Service Capt. Brian Hughes.

The fire burned slowly for days before winds suddenly whipped it up last week and drove it furiously through brush and timber.

Firefighters have achieved more than 40 percent containment of that fire, which had reached into remote areas of the country's third-oldest national park. The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.

The blaze burned so furiously on July 26 that it created a "fire whirl".

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