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One of California's 17 major fires exploded over the weekend

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Firefighters work to contain the River Fire in Lakeport, California on July 31. The Mendocino Complex Fire became the fourth largest in the state's history over the weekend. File Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE

By Sommer Brokaw, UPI

One of the 17 major California wildfires burning exploded over the weekend and became the fourth-largest in state history, officials said.

The Mendocino Complex Fire River and Ranch fires in Northern California is the largest blaze. It's torched more than 266,000 acres and grew by 70 percent over the weekend.

The Ranch Fire area alone blazed through nearly 220,000 acres, as of Sunday night, Cal Fire reported the River Fire has burned 48,000 acres.

[post_ads]Together, the fires haves destroyed 136 homes and 124 other structures, while threatening more than 24,000 others. It is 33 percent contained.

Meanwhile, firefighters are battling more than a dozen other major fires amid California's hot and dry weather. One, the Carr Fire, is still active in Shasta County. Officials said it killed a Pacific Gas and Electric Co., employee Saturday in the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, bringing its death toll to seven.

Six other people, including two firefighters, have been killed by the Carr Fire, which has grown into the state's seventh-most destructive fire in California history. As of Sunday, that fire has burned through 160,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 homes. It is 43 percent contained.

The Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park has killed two and has charred about 90,000 acres. It is 38 percent contained.

The other fires are the Eagle Fire, Georges Fire, Wagner Fire, Tarina Fire, Cranston Fire, Parrots Fire, Whaleback Fire, Valley Fire, Horse Creek Fire, Garner Complex, Natchez Fire, Eel Fire, Lions Fire, Owens Fire and Donnell Fire.

Over the weekend, the White House approved California's request for federal money to help residents recover.

"This is part of a trend -- a new normal -- that we've got to deal with," Gov. Jerry Brown said.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: One of California's 17 major fires exploded over the weekend
One of California's 17 major fires exploded over the weekend
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U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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