Two explosive wildfires have displaced 23,000 people in northern California and threaten to wreak more devastation in rural communities, which have lost hundreds of homes. The so-called Valley fire in Lake County raged untamed on Monday after incinerating 61,000 acres, or 95 square miles, in just two days. Overcast weather grounded firefighting airplanes and helicopters, leaving ground crews to battle without air cover and prompting warnings of worse to come from a blaze that is just 5% contained.

“Firefighters from across California are aggressively fighting the Valley fire that has continued to spread in hot, windy conditions,” said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). “The fire continues to grow as firefighters work to construct fire lines, while protecting lives and property.”The blaze has consumed 400 homes plus hundreds of other structures, and law enforcement is investigating a report of a civilian fatality, the agency said. Some 1,255 personnel were fighting the fire, it added. FULL REPORT