NEW: David Ruhl of South Dakota died fighting the Frog Fire near Adin, California
18 wildfires are active across state, burning at least 50,000 acres
Governor declares state of emergency
A firefighter battling one of the large wildfires burning in California died in the line of duty this week, the U.S. Forest Service said.
David Ruhl of Rapid City, South Dakota, lost his life fighting the Frog Fire near Adin, California. Rescuers searched for him overnight, and found his body Friday, the Forest Service said.
Ruhl had been on temporary assignment in the area since June.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Friday to help gather additional resources to fight the statewide fires. The California National Guard has sent nine helicopters to help quell the flames.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Friday to help gather additional resources. The California National Guard has sent nine helicopters to help quell the flames.
50,000 acres scorched in 2 counties
Cal Fire says most of the fires are over 60% contained. However, the land damage has been substantial in some cases. Fires in Southern California’s San Bernardino County and northern California’s Alpine county have incinerated nearly 50,000 acres.
The Rocky Fire in northern California has destroyed 28 structures and put another 6,100 under threat, said Dominic Polito, spokesman for firefighters battling the flames.
The fire’s location in steep terrain is making work difficult for the more than 2,000 firefighters assigned to it.
Some Lake County residents are carrying on as usual amid the precarious conditions.
“We can see the smoke and it appears to be blowing near us but there are no evacuations here that I know of. We are open for business and hoping the wind blows the other way because we have two tournaments tomorrow,” said Ted Mattila of Buckingham Golf and Country Club in Kelseyville.
Dozens of cars set ablaze as wildfire jumps California highway
California’s record-setting drought, entering its fourth year, has “turned much of the state into a tinderbox,” Gov. Brown said.
Temperatures in Sacramento and other areas of northern California, where many of the fires are located, have topped 100 degrees recently. And while temperatures are cooling this weekend in Lake County, “conditions are so dry from the drought that won’t do much to stop the fire,” Berlant said. His department is urging extra caution for residents and visitors.
CNN’s Tony Marco and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.