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California wildfires: Governor asks Canada for help as flames continue to ravage state

Click to play video 'California wildfires have scorched nearly a million acres' California wildfires have scorched nearly a million acres
WATCH: Ferocious wildfires are ravaging landscapes and communities across Northern California. The infernos are scorching nearly a million acres. A combination of searing heat, wind, and nearly twelve thousand lightning strikes have fueled the fires, some of the largest ever in California.

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday requested aid from Canada and Australia firefighters as the state struggles to contain the raging wildfires that have killed six people and forced thousands to flee from their homes.

“We also have reached out across the border, into Canada for resources and support,” Newsom said at a media conference. “And many of you up here recall it was 2017, the support we were provided and the support we provided in turn, of some of the best wildfire firefighters from Australia. We also have a request out for that talent as well.”

Click to play video 'Fire crews race to control historic California wildfire' Fire crews race to control historic California wildfire
Fire crews race to control historic California wildfire

Read more: Hundreds of wildfires burn across California as extreme weather covers state

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Global News reached out to Global Affairs asking if Canada has responded to the request, but did not hear back as of the time of publication.

Click to play video 'California fighting 560 wildfires, requests help from Canada and Australia' California fighting 560 wildfires, requests help from Canada and Australia
California fighting 560 wildfires, requests help from Canada and Australia

Wildfires sparked by lightning in Northern California exploded in size Friday, some becoming largest in state history, destroying hundreds of homes and other structures. In addition to the fatalities, 43 firefighters and civilians have been hurt.

The wildfires started last week, and now more than 12,000 firefighters — with the help of helicopters and air tankers — are stretched thin across the state trying to battle the blazes.

Three groups of fires, called complexes, burning north, east and south of San Francisco have together scorched 72,020 square kilometres.

More than 140,000 people are under evacuation orders in the state.

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Click to play video 'Driver captures apocalyptic scenes during drive through California wildfire' Driver captures apocalyptic scenes during drive through California wildfire
Driver captures apocalyptic scenes during drive through California wildfire

Newsom said crews were fighting 560 fires across the state.

“We are not naive by any stretch about how deadly this moment is and why it is essential … that you heed evacuation orders and that you take them seriously,” Newsom said.

Firefighters and residents in the state have also been pleading for support.

South of San Fransico in the Santa Cruz mountains, wildfires have forced some 48,000 residents to flee their dwellings.

A CalFire spokesperson told the Associated Press that crews are working 72-hour shifts in order to save homes in the Santa Cruz area.

Read more: California wildfires explode in size, become among largest in state history

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“We’re still understaffed for a fire of this size,” the CalFire spokesperson said.

San Jose State University professor Scott Myers-Lipton took to Twitter asking Newsom to help save the Santa Cruz mountains

“We need HELP in the Santa Cruz mountains. SEND IN THE NATIONAL GUARD NOW!” Myers-Lipton tweeted.

— With files from the Associated Press and Reuters