A second firefighter has been killed battling massive California wildfire

30 July, 2018, 14:30 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • 5 Killed Including 2 Children and Their Great-Great Grandmother in California Wildfires

Firefighters anxious that high winds could fan the flames even further.

"Right now, it's going everywhere".

He added, "Any event could bring this back up again".

More than 3,400 firefighters have been sent out- but the local fire department has warned that hot, dry weather is forecast for the rest of the week, and could make the blaze worse.

Anna Noland, 49, was evacuated twice in three days before learning through video footage that her house had burned.

She expected to spend Saturday night at a shelter at Simpson College in Redding while she searches for another place to live.

"I think I'm still in shock", Noland said.

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The children's mother, Sherry Bledsoe, was quoted by the Sacramento Bee newspaper as saying, "My kids are deceased, that's all I can say", as she left the sheriff's office on Saturday.

A vehicle problem ignited the fire July 23, but it wasn't until Thursday that the blaze exploded in size and raced into populated areas west of Redding before entering city limits.

The fire grew by about 35 percent overnight to 328 square kilometers and pushed southwest of Redding, toward the communities of Ono, Igo and Gas Point.

Jade Ball, 25, and Jack Fannin, 19, both of Redding, were found after the homeowner on the 11000 block of Quartz Hill Road waved down a Chico Police officer patrolling the area on behalf of the Shasta County Sheriff's Department, according to a news release.

In Riverside County, firefighters were working to contain the so-called Cranston fire, which has burned more than 13,000 acres.

The fire has now taken five lives, destroyed 517 structures and damaged 135, with over 5,000 structures currently threatened. A count by The Associated Press found more than 300 homes destroyed.

The firefighters killed in the blaze included Don Ray Smith, 81, of Pollock Pines, a bulldozer operator who was helping clear vegetation in the path of the wildfire. Redding Fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke was also killed, though no details were provided.

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Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said they had not yet been positively identified but were believed to be victims identified by relatives on Facebook and in news media reports as James Roberts, 5, his sister Emily Roberts, 4, and Melody Bledsoe, 70. Gusty winds reaching 60 miles per hour are fanning the flames and creating fire tornadoes, or "firenadoes", that move erratically and are strong enough to overturn vehicles "like toys", McLean told reporters at a news conference late Thursday.

Bosenko said Sunday that 16 people have so far been reported missing over the course of the fire.

The fire broke out on July 23, 2018, which forced tens of thousands of people to flee from their homes. For the Fire Chief, conditions are unsafe: "Extreme is not even the right adjective to use any more it is just an understatement because fire is so explosive now in California".

"But I still tried to get down in there and they come and stopped me and wouldn't let me get down in there". An estimated 38,000 people are away from their homes, awaiting a chance to return.

An explosive Northern California wildfire surged into the city of Redding, population about 92,000, on Friday after burning dozens of homes, injuring firefighters and civilians, and engulfing and killing a bulldover operator.

At last word, the blaze was only 5 percent contained and has showed no signs of slowing down. The blaze has destroyed at least 536 structures, damaged another 117 and was threatening almost 5,000 others, officials said. The two fires had blackened 122 square kilometres, with minimal containment.

Huge fires continued to burn outside Yosemite National Park and in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs.

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The fire also reportedly burned structures in Shasta, located 10 miles west of Redding, and in Keswick.


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