An ongoing wildfire - the so-called Klamathon Fire - in northern California has left at least one person dead and destroyed several structures as of Friday, July 6, prompting Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. The blaze, located near the intersection of Klamathon and Copco roads to the south of Hornbrook (Siskiyou county), ignited on Thursday, July 5, and had burned 3240 hectares (8000 acres) and remained only 5 percent contained as of Friday morning (local time), according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). The fire also briefly closed Interstate 5 on Friday; the highway has since reopened in both directions. The fire is threatening some 300 homes near Hornbrook; evacuation orders have been issued for affected areas.
The County Fire - which ignited on June 30 in Yolo county - is burning in Napa and Yolo counties and remains the largest active fire in California as of Friday. The blaze has burned some 35,765 hectares (88,375 acres) as of Friday afternoon, and is reportedly only 37 percent contained. Mandatory evacuation orders and road closures are in place in areas particularly threatened by the fire. These fires and others in California are expected to spread in the coming days, facilitated by prevailing hot and dry weather affecting much of the state.
Additional evacuation orders, road closures, and power outages remain possible in areas affected by wildfires. Updated information on fire containment and evacuation orders is available on the CAL FIRE website.
Hot, dry weather conditions and high winds contribute to the spread of wildfires, which are frequent in northern California from May through November. A series of wildfires in nearby Napa and Sonoma counties left 44 dead and destroyed thousands of homes in October 2017.
Individuals in affected areas are advised to exercise caution when traveling in areas affected by the wildfires, adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders), and monitor the situation.
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