first_imgUPPER LAKE, Calif. — Firefighters battling massive blazes throughout Northern California had some success keeping flames away from heavily populated areas Thursday and made progress containing a blaze that already destroyed more than 1,000 homes.One of the fires moved deeper into the Mendocino National Forest, “an area with some hunting cabins and some private property but no towns,” Lake County Sheriff Lt. Corey Paulich said.Still, just a month into the budget year, California has already spent more than one-quarter of its annual fire budget, at least $125 million, state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Mike Mohler said.Following years of drought and a summer of record-breaking heat, immense tracts of forests, chaparral and grasslands have become tinder that allows even a small spark to explode into a devouring blaze, authorities said.“We’re being surprised. Every year is teaching the fire authorities new lessons,” Gov. Jerry Brown told reporters Wednesday. “We’re in uncharted territory.”last_img

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