After a month of burning, the Ferguson Fire has singed 96,457 acres across three national forests and private land.
Zinke and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are in California this week to meet with state officials and to personally thank the firefighters who are battling the fires.
Together, the Ranch and River fires have scorched 344,890 acres.
Five civilians were killed in the Carr Fire as well, including a worker for Pacific Gas & Electric. Two other firefighters had previously been injured fighting the fire. As many as 3,100 personnel are working the fire.
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"The significant challenge for the Ranch Fire is the terrain it's starting to burn into".
On Sunday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection confirmed that the fire, which has destroyed approximately 1100 residences, has spread over 816 square kilometres and is 61 per cent contained. "Now we can focus on the challenge of the Ranch Fire", he said. The Carr Fire in Shasta and Trinity counties has so far resulted in eight deaths. Despite losing everything they own, many of them still come to work to restore power, fight fires, and fix damaged facilities.
Almost 19,000 acres of the Stanislaus National Forest and about 11,000 acres of Yosemite National Forest also have been razed.
The National Park Service says Yosemite's Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias will reopen to the public on Monday at 9 a.m. and the Yosemite Valley on Tuesday.
"We may be nearly close to containment but there's still a lot of work that needs to be done", Efird said.