Devastating wildfires a "new normal" for California, Gov. Jerry Brown says

A helicopter carries water while battling the River Fire in Lakeport Calif

Another CalFire spokesman said roughly 40,000 people were under evacuation orders statewide, many from a pair of fires burning close together at the southern end of the Mendocino National Forest. Crews are mopping up burned areas on the southern end of the fire. Brown said the trend would likely worsen if forecasts by climate scientists come to pass.

The team is on 24-hour shifts and we are grateful they took time out of their recuperation period to share these photos and video with us.

Twin fires in Mendocino and Lake counties had burned 14 homes and threatened 12,000 more.

The blaze in the Redding area, 225 miles (360 kilometers) north of San Francisco, is the largest of 18 wildfires burning throughout California.

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said all missing people reported to his office had been accounted for.

On Thursday, Cal Fire and the National Weather Service said a survey of last week's damage shows the fire itself created wind speeds of 143 miles per hour.

"Last night, firefighters made good progress on increasing containment on the River and Ranch fires", said Ron Myers, a deputy incident commander with Cal Fire.

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Air tankers have been dropping fire retardant on two wildfires in Northern California to help try and stop them spreading any further.

"In past decades, we may have seen fires like we are seeing now in August or September", said Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott.

The fire is believed to have been started by a malfunctioning vehicle on July 23.

There are 4,271 firefighters battling the blaze, as well as 369 fire engines, 69 fire crews, 17 helicopters, 125 bulldozers and 84 water trucks.

Two fires in Mendocino County, the River Fire, which is 38 percent contained, and the Ranch Fire, 15 percent contained, have consumed almost 100,000 acres.

Extreme weather conditions are expected to return on Thursday and could stoke wildfires in California where thousands of tired firefighters are battling the destructive and deadly blazes. High temperatures, low humidity and afternoon winds along with low fuel moistures are aiding large fire growth, officials said.

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