Another wildfire took a person’s life in California Sunday as the blaze hit 10 homes in Monterey County, the Associated Press reported. California has been hit hard with wildfires this season; Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Napa and Lake counties this month.
Last week five people died, and approximately 1,400 homes were destroyed in two other wildfires. Those wildfires still threaten several thousand other homes, officials said. Sunday's victim was not identified.
"Our damage assessment team continues to go in and count home by home, structure by structure, but they still have a ways to go before they are finished," Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said.
Officials said Sunday that 888 homes had been destroyed in the Lake County fire, local station KCRA 3 reported. The Lake County fire covered 74,500 acres, and firefighters said they had reached only 50 percent containment Saturday. Officials said it's likely that the total number of homes destroyed will increase.
Fires burning in the Sierra Nevada foothills have destroyed approximately 535 homes and led to the deaths of two people. Officials said Sunday that the Sierra Nevada fire was 70 percent contained but still posed a serious threat to many buildings.
The fire Sunday had spread to 1,200 acres since beginning Saturday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Residents of the city of Jamesburg were advised to evacuate Sunday.
The Red Cross was already working to help those affected by the Valley fire, local station ABC 10 reported.
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Seasonal wildfires affect California almost every year. California has also been faced with a record four-year drought this year. Brown made the connection between the fires and the climate, saying: “This is the future. Climate change is not going to go away.”
Speaking with International Business Times, Rachel Cleetus, an economist and climate policy manager with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Massachusetts, highlighted the large financial resources needed to tackle fires.
“California is now in a situation where they pretty much have a year-round wildfire season,” she said.