Homes destroyed and at least one dead in explosive wildfires

California wildfire claims 2nd life thousands more evacuate
California wildfire claims 2nd life thousands more evacuate The Associated Press 27 Jul 2018
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28 July, 2018

At least one person was killed in a fast-growing wildfire that sent residents fleeing from the northern Californian city of Redding, where homes and businesses burned and power was cut on Friday, fire officials said. Flames swept through the communities of Shasta and Keswick before jumping the Sacramento River and reaching Redding, a city of about 90,000 people - the largest in the region.

"Firefighters continue to work aggressively to build containment lines around the Carr Fire", officials said in a statement.

Rick Plummer, director of marketing for Dignity Health's Mercy Medical Center in Redding, said he left the Carr fire command post about 11 p.m. Thursday and arrived home to find a wall of flames a half-mile away and closing in.

The Western U.S., and California specifically, have been besieged by powerful fires this summer, which recently forced the closure of a smoke-filled Yosemite National Park.

In an interview early Friday on "Good Morning America", Damante said the "quickness" and "volatility" of the blaze was unlike anything she had ever seen before.

Residents in Redding where several homes were destroyed say they had to scramble to escape the blaze. Temperatures are forecast to reach 110 (43 Celsius) Friday.

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While live on air, KRCR was later forced to evacuate its studios.

The massive blaze was sparked by a malfunctioning vehicle, according to CAL FIRE.

The fire burned over the operator and his equipment, making the man the second bulldozer operator killed in a California blaze in less than two weeks. The fire was earlier estimated to have claimed almost 30,000 acres and was about 6 percent contained, but authorities said that acreage is expected to increase "dramatically".

A wildfire in rural Shasta County in Northern California tripled in size overnight, and more evacuations have been ordered. All homes south of Hialeah, including those accessed from Hialeah, are under an evacuation warning.) - Hurkey Creek Area - Idyllwild - Lake Hemet Area - Mountain Center Community - Mt San Jacinto State Park - Pine Cove An evacuation center has been setup at Banning High School (100 W. Westward Ave. "There's a lot of fire, a lot of structures burning".

This year so far, nearly 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) have been blackened by wildfires, above a 10-year average of 3.6 million acres (1.5 million hectares) over the same period, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. But it wasn't swift enough to spare them all.

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared states of emergency for the three largest fires, authorizing the state to rally resources to local governments, the AP writes. The Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park, which has charred 45,911 acres (18,500 hectares), was 29 percent contained.


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