The Latest: Dozer driver slipped 3 times before fatal fall

RESCUE, California. – The Latest on forest fires of California (all times are local):

11:50 am

A California bulldozer operator almost slipped off a steep mountain path three times before his vehicle finally rolled into a ravine and fatally crushed him.

A Department of Forestry and fire protection preliminary report says each previous slip only qualified as a “near miss” warning that the century-old mining trail could collapse.

The report says the 36-year-old Braden Varney, a 10-year veteran, was only for the night 14 July fighting a forest fire began hours earlier outside of Yosemite National Park.

His assistant had gone to a new hydraulic hose. Varney the radio was not communicating with the head office, so his assistant relayed messages to the moment that they lost contact.

The report says Varney’s death highlights the need for better risk assessment, communication, and monitoring.

Sickle was the first of four California firefighters to die this year.


11:15 pm

Experts say that a deadly Northern California wildfire burned so hot at its peak, that is made of a cyclone of flames that reached 143 km / h, ripping through the region with the power of a destructive Midwest tornado.

The National Weather Service meteorologist Duane Dykema said Friday that the fire is still burning in the area of Rescue of a fire whirl that uprooted trees and ripped roofs of homes.

Dykema says the whirl is started when the warm air from the extremely hot flames rose and twisted tightly, creating a powerful tornado of fire and wind.

He says fire whirls are common, but not on the intensity recorded on 26 July. The fire burning in the vicinity of Redding has grown to 206 square miles (533 square miles) and destroyed at least 1,060 homes.


7:40 pm

Increasing winds are expected in Northern California in the areas where the deadly and destructive fires burning.

The National Weather Service has issued warnings for critical fire weather conditions Friday and Saturday, a series of dry low pressure systems pass through the region, causing wind gusts up to 35 km / h (56 km / hour) in the afternoon.

Forecasters say the highest threat areas, such as a fire in the vicinity of the city of Redding and the Mendocino Complex of two fires north of San Francisco. The forecast includes the extremely low humidity that allows vegetation ready to burn.

The 206 square miles (533 square miles) Carr Fire 100 miles south of the Oregon border, is 39 percent contained after destroying 1,060 houses and many other structures. Two firefighters have died.

New evacuations were ordered late Thursday in the Mendocino Complex.

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