Wildfires scorching homes, land -- and California's budget

Associated Press

UPPER LAKE, Calif. (AP) -- Wildfires scorching Northern California from the Gold Country to the fringes of Yosemite National Park are also burning through the state's firefighting budget even as they devour homes and lives.

Cal Fire spokesman Mike Mohler says California already has spent more than a quarter of its annual fire budget -- at least $125 million -- just a month into the budget year.

And Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday warned that the state could expect more huge, costly and devastating fires in future.

The sixth most destructive wildfire in state history is the week-old Carr Fire near Redding which has killed six people, including two firefighters, and destroyed more than 1,000 homes. Tens of thousands of people also remain under evacuation orders.

Authorities said on Wednesday all people reported missing in the Carr Fire have been located and are safe. 

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said officials received 60 reports of missing people and that all had been located by Wednesday.

California fire officials say the wildfire burning near Redding for 10 days has scorched 180 square miles (470 square kilometers). 

Fire crew have gained some ground and increased containment to 35 percent.

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