Wildfires force California to declare state of emergency (PHOTOS)

The Chips fire burns near Greenville, California (Reuters/Max Whittaker)
Three counties in Northern California have declared in emergency after firefighters failed to bring down an over 20-meter-high wall of fire that left behind about 10,000 hectares of scorched woodland. The fire has destroyed 84 buildings.

­Several small communities were evacuated as firefighters made their stand against wind-blown fire. They managed to repel the fire from the Manton and Shingletown communities, but the fire still threatens the small community of Mineral.

Overall 3,000 people were evacuated from the Californian counties of Tehama and Shasta.

The firefighters believe they have extinguished around 50 per cent of fires, but according to their estimates, some 500 homes, as well as 10 commercial properties and 30 household buildings remain in the threatened zone.

Prevailing hot weather in the region has created extremely dry conditions, turning vegetation into a woodpile waiting for the tiniest spark.

The fire that rages in California now has a proper name – Ponderosa Fire – and is believed to have been ignited by lightning.

Californian firefighters are now busy preparing an additional 18-kilometer containment line to stop the raging infernos. Two firefighters have sustained minor injuries fighting the blaze.

Reuters/Nasa
Reuters/Nasa
Reuters/Max Whittaker
Reuters/Max Whittaker
Reuters/Max Whittaker
Reuters/Max Whittaker
Reuters/Max Whittaker
Reuters/Max Whittaker
Reuters/Max Whittaker
Reuters/Max Whittaker
Reuters/Max Whittaker
Reuters/Max Whittaker