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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 24 October, 2019

PHOTOS: Thousands of firefighters battle "monster" California wildfire

13,000 people have been forced from their homes since the enormous wildfire started last week.

California Wildfires Source: Associated Press

COOLER TEMPERATURES AND higher humidity overnight helped thousands of firefighters battle an unruly wildfire in Northern California.

However, the blaze has already charred 106 square miles (275 square km), and isn’t expected to be completely corralled until at least Monday.

California Wildfires Source: Associated Press

A spokesperson for the state’s Department of Forestry said:

It’s going to be a little bit hotter and a little bit dryer, and the winds are just going to blow a little bit more, but it’s not going to be crazy. We are just going to hope for the best.

More than 3,000 firefighters are battling the smoky blaze, which is burning about 110 miles north of San Francisco.

Western Wildfires Source: Associated Press

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Since it started last Wednesday, more than 13,000 people were required or urged to leave their homes, vacation cabins and campsites.

It is by far the largest of 11 fires currently burning in Northern California.

California Wildfires Source: Associated Press

“This never gets easier,” said Gina Powers, who on Sunday night fled her home in Spring Valley, as she has during previous fires. “This time it was scarier.”

Vicki Estrella, who has lived in the area for 22 years, stayed in the local secondary school with her husband and their dog.

It’s amazing the way that thing spread. There was smoke 300 feet in the air.

California Wildfires Source: Associated Press

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, has the wildfire listed as the nation’s highest priority for crews and equipment, spokesman Mike Ferris said.

He called the fire “one big monster.”

California Wildfires Source: Jeff Chiu/PA

Crews have conducted controlled burns, setting fire to shrubs to rob the blaze of fuel and protect homes in a rural area of grasslands and steep hills.

California Wildfires Source: Associated Press

President Barack Obama was briefed on the fire and has asked his aides to stay in close touch with California Governor Jerry Brown and other local officials, the White House said.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

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Dan MacGuill

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