California wildfire: Hopes emerge that fire is slowing down

Hugh Fox
July 30, 2018

In Northern California, the 80,000-acre Carr Fire in Shasta County has destroyed 500 structures and is threatening almost 5,000 more, according to CalFire. Authorities have also put up police tape around a burst out home where a 70-year old women, her 5-year-old, and 4-year-old great grandsons are feared missing in the Quartz Hill area.

A 32-year-old man has been arrested and charged with 15 arson counts, though it is still unclear if he started the Carr fire.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it is closely monitoring a fast-spreading wildfire in Redding, California that has already destroyed hundreds of structures and forced thousands to evacuate. Those wishing to donate to the Red Cross can do so by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

A scorched auto sits next to a house that burned in the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. Police Sergeant Todd Cogle said the number of those unaccounted for had fluctuated during the past two days - from as many as 20 to as few as 12 - as some who were reported missing turned up safe and others were added to the list.

CORRECTS SPELLING TO SHERRY NOT SHERRI-Sherry Bledsoe left cries next to her sister Carla outside of the sheriff's office after hearing news that Sherry's children James and Emily and grandmother Melody Bledsoe were killed in a wildfire

Redding resident Tim Bollman hiked four miles to check on his home, only to find it had been completely destroyed.

Meanwhile, about 120 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Redding, two blazes prompted mandatory evacuations in Mendocino County.

Bonnie and Jerry Kieffaber grabbed most of their medications when they left their home in Redding on Thursday, but they forgot his insulin. The winds that aided crews in keeping the flames from more populated areas were propelling the inferno at a frightening rate in unpredictable directions.

"This fire was whipped up into a whirlwind of activity, uprooting trees, moving vehicles, moving parts of roadways", Ken Pimlott, director of the California department of forestry and fire protection (CalFire), said.

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The AP reported Saturday that an estimated 38,000 people were under evacuation orders with 5,000 homes threatened and the fire only 5 percent contained.

Cal Fire also reported Saturday that a separate blaze burning since July 13 near Yosemite National Park, known as the Ferguson Fire, has grown to 49,619 acres and is 29% contained.

A private bulldozer operator on the fire line and a Redding firefighter were killed in the conflagration. Residents in some neighboring Lake County communities have also been told to leave their homes.

US President Donald Trump on Saturday declared the fire an emergency, authorising federal funds for disaster relief efforts. She says it's hard to believe.

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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 two fires had blackened 122 square kilometres, with minimal containment.

"But I still tried to get down in there and they come and stopped me and wouldn't let me get down in there".

Some evacuations were lifted but officials said Yosemite Valley, the heart of tourism in the park, will remain closed until August 3.

So far this year, bushfires have scorched nearly 1.7 million hectares across the country, less than last year but still more than the 1.5 million-hectare average for the same period over the past decade. When Jason Campbell returned from the blaze he was fighting on Friday, he found his own home had gone up in flames, along with an RV and a boat. "That is kind of that new normal that we are dealing with in California". "As this fire was just exploding, it's just been inching closer and closer and closer to the station to the point where there was a neighborhood up in flames just about a mile away from the station, just across from the Sacramento River", Damante said during an interview on "Good Morning America" early Friday.

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