Crews lament longer fire season that spawns erratic blazes

ANDERSON, California (AP) — Some 12,000 firefighters are working 24-hour shifts battling deadly California wildfires.

The exhausted and hungry crews are becoming resigned to fire seasons that start earlier and burn longer and unleash increasingly unpredictable blazes. For many of the firefighters slamming down 9,000-calorie meals between shifts, the nonstop effort has become routine.

Crews made progress this weekend on the Carr Fire near Redding, about 230 miles (370 kilometers) north of San Francisco. But it was still threatening thousands of homes and wasn’t expected to be fully contained until mid-August at the earliest.

The hotter, drier conditions mean firefighters are trained to take a “tactical pause” to reconsider before charging in against the flames. Cal Fire Capt. Chris Anthony says fires are now more likely to take a “sudden and deadly turn.”