Hope grows as deadly Northern California blaze slows down

30 July, 2018, 14:31 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • 5 Killed Including 2 Children and Their Great-Great Grandmother in California Wildfires

The fatalities bring the death toll to five since the massive blaze started burning Monday about 100 miles south of the OR border.

The dead were identified as 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe and her great-grandchildren, 5-year-old James Roberts and 4-year-old Emily Roberts.

"It's huge flames, it's coming up the hill, and everyone's out and we're watching it, then it goes down, and everyone's like, 'Oh it's going out, ' " she said.

Fire officials said the Carr Fire in particular has burned with an "unprecedented" intensity and unpredictable progression that has confounded them.

The Carr Fire continues to devastate Shasta County and is now at 89,141 acres and 5 percent containment, according to this mornings Cal Fire update.

Among the missing were two children and their great-grandmother who were stranded at a rural home when the fire blew up Thursday night, jumped the wide Sacramento River into Redding and leveled several neighborhoods.

For days, family members had combed evacuation shelters, praying for a sign that Melody Bledsoe and her granddaughter's children had survived the Carr Fire.

The air chokes with the smell of smoke and chemicals, smoldering what's left of people's lives.

The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco is also checking the situation of Filipinos in Redding and surrounding areas to determine whether any of them has been affected by the so-called Carr Fire. The winds that aided firefighters in keeping the flames from more populated areas were propelling it forward at a frightening rate.

The fire broke out on July 23, 2018, which forced tens of thousands of people to flee from their homes. "This fire is moving, at times, three or four different directions".

Crews are getting control of a small wildfire in California's wine country county of Napa, but two blazes farther north are raging mostly unchecked. A count by The Associated Press found more than 300 homes destroyed.

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Some 500 structures were destroyed, and 38,000 people remained under evacuation orders as of Saturday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

He also said his family was never told to evacuate. The two fires, burning 30 miles (50 kilometers) apart, started Friday and were threatening more than 350 buildings. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office ordered evacuations for people living in an area of Ukiah north of Highway 175.

In Shasta County, Matt Smith, a Forest Service pilot with 13 years' experience as a smokejumper, says he used hoses to save his house in the well-kept neighborhood of Lake Redding Estates.

The Carr Fire, the deadliest and most destructive of almost 90 wildfires burning from Texas to OR, has charred 89,194 acres (36,095 hectares) of drought-parched vegetation since erupting last Monday.

President Donald Trump declared the fire an emergency on Saturday, authorizing federal funds for disaster relief efforts.

"We did everything right", Laura Rathe said.

Elsewhere in California, large fires continued to burn outside Yosemite National Park and in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs. The fire doubled in size Saturday, growing to more than 83,800 acres while putting residents and firefighters in harm's way.

Yosemite Valley remained closed to visitors and will not reopen until Friday.

So far this year, wildfires have scorched nearly 1.7 million hectares across the USA, above the 1.5 million-hectare average for the same period over the last decade.

JOSH EDELSON via Getty Images Kambryn Brilz, 12, holds her dog Zoe in front of what remains of her burnt home after she was returned safely by a neighbor during the Carr fire in Redding, California, on July 27. One of the homes lost belonged to Shyla and Jason Campbell.


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