Northern California wildfire rages largely unchecked, at least 6 dead

30 July, 2018, 14:36 | Author: Donnie King
  • The Carr Fire burns along Highway 299 in Redding Calif. on Thursday

Authorities said they were still looking for seven people after finding nine others who had been reported missing. Gusty winds, high temperatures and dry vegetation still have the potential to spur fire growth.

Residents who gathered their belongings in haste described a chaotic and congested getaway as the embers blew up to a mile ahead of flames and the fire leaped across the wide Sacramento River and torched subdivisions in Redding, a city of 92,000 about 100 miles south of the OR border. It has already claimed at least two lives, destroyed 500 structures and threatened thousands more. A count by The Associated Press found more than 300 homes destroyed.

On Saturday morning, the Carr fire barreled toward the towns of Igo and Ono, prompting new evacuations. "I talked to them until the fire got them".

Hundreds of miles to the south, the Cranston Fire grew to 7.5 square miles and about 3,000 residents remained under evacuation orders in Idyllwild and several neighboring communities.

They say the blazes are threatening more than 350 buildings. "It's completely's the craziest thing you have ever seen". But then he composed himself.

Whole neighbourhoods in Redding, a city of 90,000 residents, as well as the nearby town of Keswick, with a population of about 450, were reduced to ash. A GoFundMe page set up by the children's family said the three were last heard from Thursday as flames closed in on the neighborhood.

The fatalities included two firefighters and a woman and her two great-grandchildren.

"My babies are dead", Sherry Bledsoe said through tears after she and family members met Saturday with sheriff's deputies.

The sixth victim announced Sunday was not identified, but also did not evacuate despite receiving the order, Bosenko said.

The blaze remained unpredictable, said Chris Anthony, a division chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

Firefighters discuss plans while battling the Carr Fire in Shasta Calif. on Thursday
Firefighters discuss plans while battling the Carr Fire in Shasta Calif. on Thursday

As of Saturday night, the fire was 5 percent contained. In a statement, the White House said the declaration will open up the availability of necessary equipment and resources from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Firefighter dies on front linesJeremy Stoke, a fire inspector with the Redding Fire Department, died Thursday night, the Redding firefighters union said. "The blaze also killed two fire workers, Cal Fire said, while another - the Ferguson Fire - killed another firefighter".

In recognition that California is at maximum commitment with 10,000 firefighters battling 21 fires, President Donald Trump granted Gov.

"Extreme fire conditions continue to challenge firefighters", Cal Fire said in a statement. "I'm talking about subdivisions encroaching into the wild land urban interface that put them in the path of these destructive fires".

A fire that started in a rural community in northern California underscored a new reality in the state when days later it suddenly roared through neighborhoods on the edge of the city of Redding: Urban areas are increasingly vulnerable to wildfires.

"Over the years, we're putting more people in harm's way", he said. They had consumed 39 square miles (101 square kilometers) and were each 5 percent contained.

Like the fires in Santa Rosa and Ventura a year ago, wind was a major contributor to the blaze's spread.

Bulldozer operator Don Ray Smith, 81, was killed while clearing debris for the firefighting effort when his position was overrun by the flames. He had been with California's Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots for four years and reached the rank of captain.

Earlier this month, firefighter Barden Varney was killed when the bulldozer he was operating overturned.

Three firefighters and an unknown number of civilians had burns, but the extent of their injuries was not immediately known, McLean said.



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