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Death toll from California fires rises to 10

(AFP) -The death toll from the wildfires raging the US state of California has risen to 10 after a heavy equipment mechanic assigned to the Carr Fire was killed in a road accident, according to authorities.

The mechanic died on Thursday, AFP reported. The Carr Fire has proved to be the deadliest of about 20 major fires raging across the state, having previously claimed seven lives, including two firefighters.

Two other people were killed in the Ferguson Fire.

“We are saddened to report the death of a CAL FIRE heavy equipment mechanic from the Butte Unit assigned to the Carr Fire,” said Cal Fire, the state’s department of forestry and fire protection.

“He was killed early this morning as the result of a traffic accident on Highway 99 in Tehama County,” it said.

The Carr Fire is 48 percent contained but has burned through 177,450 acres since it started on July 23.

The biggest fire currently is the Mendocino Complex fire which consumed more than 300,000 acres. It actually consists of two big fires — the Ranch Fire and the River Fire, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

US President Donald Trump has declared a “major disaster” in California, where the size of the fire has surpassed that of last year’s Thomas Fire, which consumed 281,893 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

So far this year, fires in the United States have burned 5 million acres, much more than the 10-year average, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

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