Carr Fire more than doubles in size near Redding, California

Larry Hoffman
July 30, 2018

Thousands more fled their homes after wildfires surged near a small lake town in northern California while a deadly blaze farther north slowed slightly as crews stretched to their limits across the state fight flames that have claimed the lives of both firefighters and civilians.

Firefighters anxious that high winds could fan the flames even further. "Under these conditions that we are seeing right now, it's not going to take much for the fire to have the extreme spread that we saw a couple of days ago".

"We're here till the end, and we will get to an end, and we will bring some peace to this chaos", he said.

Anna Noland, who was evacuated twice in three days, learned Friday that she had lost her home.

"Grandma did everything she could to save them", Woodly wrote.

"This was my house since I was born", he said, getting emotional. "It's just unbelievable knowing you don't have a house to go back to".

Two firefighters have also died in the blaze.

And due to the ongoing fire-fighting efforts, the City of Redding and the California Division of Drinking Water request that all City of Redding residents and businesses, especially those not directly affected by the fire, please conserve water. The magnitude of the blaze jumped from around 48,000 acres Friday night, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. But the fire changed direction and they were able to work another five hours to save valuable paintings and prints. Flames have destroyed 517 structures in the Redding area, Cal Fire said. A count by The Associated Press found at least 300 of those structures were homes.

Two firefighters had already been killed by the fire, Redding fire inspector Jeremy Stoke and a bulldozer operator whose name wasn't immediately released.

Sherry Bledsoe's two children, James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4, were stranded with their great-grandmother Melody Bledsoe, 70, when walls of flames swept through the family's rural property Thursday on the outskirts of Redding.

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said 14 people had been reported missing after the furious wind-driven blaze took residents by surprise and leveled several neighborhoods, though he added that the homes of most of those unaccounted for were still standing.

On Saturday afternoon, Redding police said they were trying to locate 17 people reported missing by relatives or friends since Thursday night. A Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park firefighter suffered a fatal injury and died Sunday while battling the Ferguson Fire, according to a statement from the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office. "We're just trying to stay away from the fire".

Authorities said they were also struggling with the loss.

The Carr Fire, which is the largest of 17 wildfires burning in California, has destroyed or damaged more than 1,000 structures in Shasta and Trinity Counties, about 150 miles north of Sacramento. They had consumed 39 square miles (101 square kilometers) and were each 5 percent contained.

About 100 miles southwest of Redding, two blazes that prompted mandatory evacuations in Mendocino County destroyed four homes and threatened more than 4,500 buildings, officials said.

The latest official update about the blaze includes a sobering admission by fire authorities.

A big fire continued to burn in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs, but officials lifted evacuation orders for several communities after reporting significant progress by firefighters.

The 45-square-mile fire that began Monday tripled in size overnight Thursday amid scorching temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions.

In the Sierra Nevada, famed Yosemite National Park closed Wednesday as smoke from a fire to the west cast a pall on the region.

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