Published: Sat, July 28, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

How You Can Help Victims of Shasta County's Carr Fire

How You Can Help Victims of Shasta County's Carr Fire

A fast-growing northern California wildfire killed a second firefighter on Friday after high winds drove it into the city of Redding, prompting mass evacuations, destroying scores of homes and threatening some 5,000 other dwellings and businesses, officials said.

A bulldozer operator died in the Carr Fire, a terrifying blaze in Shasta County that has tripled in size over the last two days to 28,000 acres (11,300 hectares), the state's forestry and fire protection department, Cal Fire said.

The fire erupted Thursday night near Redding and swiftly moved into the west side of the city after jumping over the Sacramento River. "There was not much of a warning".

Hospital staff are preparing to evacuate the entire facility if needed, a Cal Fire spokesman said.

The state of California is dealing with several wildfires that have consumed buildings and forced evacuations. The "mechanical failure of a vehicle" ignited the blaze in Whiskeytown Monday, officials said.

Allison Woods and Tamara Damante were providing live coverage of the fire for KRCR-TV in Redding when they announced the blaze was approaching their studio and they needed to leave. Braden Varney, 36, a heavy fire equipment operator, was killed while batting another blaze near Yosemite National Park.

"Really we're in a life-saving mode right now in Redding", said Jonathan Cox, battalion chief with Cal Fire.

The heart of Yosemite National Park remained empty the day after campers and hotel guests were evicted so firefighters could try to keep the state's largest fire from entering the park almost two weeks after it was sparked. No threat of fire is present in the area of the bridge at the moment.

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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.

There were over 1,700 firefighters have been working to control the blaze.

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Thursday for Riverside and Shasta counties in response to fires. The Ferguson Fire in central California engulfed some 44,000 acres as of Thursday evening and continued to grow near Yosemite National Park.

A 32-year-old man is under arrest, booked on five counts of arson.

Brett Gouvea, incident commander of the crews battling the fire, urged residents to pay close attention to the blaze.

The fire allegedly was intentionally set Wednesday and quickly spread through timber and brush near the town of Idyllwild and other communities about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

Damate then pleaded with residents to follow the evacuation order in place and "stay safe".

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