August 3, 2018 / 2:27 AM / 11 days ago

Australia, NZ firefighters fly out to battle deadly California wildfires

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Firefighters from Australia and New Zealand flew out of Sydney on Friday on a mission to relieve exhausted crews battling deadly wildfires sweeping the northwest of the United States.

FILE PHOTO: A firefighter knocks down hotspots to slow the spread of the River Fire (Mendocino Complex) in Lakeport, California, U.S. July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves/File Photo

Australian fire authorities said the contingent of about 100 firefighters set off as conditions turned gusty in the mountains north of Sacramento, where fierce fires were among 100 burning across 13 western U.S. states.

The 11-day-old Carr Fire, stoked by drought-parched vegetation and triple-digit temperatures, is the most fearsome.

It has killed six people, reduced 1,555 structures to smoldering ruins and ranks as the sixth most destructive wildfire on record in California.

Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Paul Tait

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