Firefighters Make Progress Against California Wildfires

Thusands of firefighters tackling two deadly wildfires in Northern California made significant progress Tuesday, a day after Gov. Jerry Brown announced he was seeking federal aid for victims, reports The Los Angeles Times.

More than 7,500 firefighters worked to increase containment of the Valley and Butte fires as state and federal officials continued to assess the damage, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

“Overnight, firefighters made gains mopping up hot spots and strengthening control lines,” CalFire officials said in a statement. “Today firefighters will continue to construct control lines and repair alterations to the landscape that resulted from earlier suppression operations.”

The Valley fire in Lake, Sonoma and Napa counties and the Butte fire in Amador and Calaveras counties were 75% and 80% contained, respectively, as of Monday, CalFire said.

The Valley fire, the third most destructive in state history, has charred 76,067 acres, CalFire said. Three people were killed in the blaze, which started Sept. 12 and tore through 1,238 homes, 23 multi-family homes, 64 commercial buildings and 585 sheds and outbuildings, CalFire said.

The 70,868-acre Butte fire wiped out 545 homes and 356 outbuildings. It started Sept. 9 and is the seventh most destructive fire, according to state officials. Two deaths are attributed to the Butte fire, CalFire said.

On Monday, Brown asked President Obama for a national disaster declaration, hoping to open the door for federal assistance.

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