Homes destroyed and at least one dead in explosive wildfires

27 July, 2018, 23:42 | Author: Camille Rivera
  • City looks like hell as wildfires jump across river killing one

The blaze, which has burned 28,763 acres, is only 6% contained, Cal Fire said.

The fire erupted Wednesday and rapidly spread over 7½ square miles (19 square kilometers), forcing the evacuation of the entire town of Idyllwild, other communities and youth summer camps.

One person died, a private hire bulldozer operator, and three firefighters have been injured.

The fire has destroyed 15 structures so far and is threatening nearly 500 more in Shasta County.

'Right now they're doing what they can, they're trying to make a stand where they can, if possible, ' McLean said.

The weather is calm Thursday morning in the San Jacinto Mountains where the fire broke out but forecasters say temperatures will remain above normal in the 90s to 100 with low relative humidity and that there could be gusty afternoon and evening winds. The state is battling ferocious fires at both ends of the state.

Last year, the Thomas Fire - which grew to be the largest in California history - eventually burned across more than 280,000 acres. Fire officials said the mechanical failure of a vehicle sparked the blaze on Monday. CHP says he was driving a auto that matched the description of a vehicle seen near the origin of the fire.

"This fire is extremely unsafe and is moving with no regard to what's on its path", Cal Fire Incident Commander Chief Brett Gouvea told reporters.

William Blodgett of Idyllwild said he couldn't get home because of the fire and had to wait along with others at a gas station in nearby Mountain Center - until the fire hopped a highway and began to move in his direction.

A historic schoolhouse burns as the Carr Fire tears through Shasta, Calif., Thursday, July 26, 2018.

Earlier in the day with flames exploding around Whiskeytown Lake, an effort to save boats at a marina by untying them from moorings and pushing them to safety, wasn't swift enough to spare them all.

California firefighters face another day of high temperatures as they try to contain a suspected arson wildfire that has forced evacuation of mountain communities and burned five homes east of Los Angeles.

In response to the growing blaze, California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Riverside and Shasta counties.

Elsewhere in the state, a huge forest fire continued to grow outside Yosemite National Park. That blaze killed 36-year-old Braden Varney, a heavy equipment operator for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection whose bulldozer rolled over into a ravine July 14.

Authorities ordered residents to leave Idyllwild and several neighboring communities, home to about 12,000 people.

Hundreds of miles to the south, winds were absent over the fire in Southern California's San Jacinto Mountains.

Videos from the scene show multiple homes in flames, and forest officials said at least five residences have been destroyed.



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