President Trump Declares California Emergency After Carr Fire Tornado
President Trump Declares California Emergency After Carr Fire Tornado
Melody Bledsoe died along with her great-grandchildren James and Emily
30 July, 2018, 14:29
Seventeen people are missing as a monster wildfire in the USA spread after killing two firefighters, destroying hundreds of buildings and sending tens of thousands of frantic residents fleeing from their northern Californiahomes.
The death toll climbed to six, and authorities anxious that another forecast for high winds could fan the flames even further.
The blaze remained unpredictable, said Chris Anthony, a division chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
"We're here till the end, and we will get to an end, and we will bring some peace to this chaos", he said. "Within 15 minutes, it burned my house down", he recalled.
"The family that lives in town are all together mourning 3 fantastic souls", Woodley wrote.
"I think I'm still in shock", Noland said.
"It's the craziest frickin' thing you have ever seen", he said, his eyes filled with tears.
A woman and her two great-grandchildren who had been missing since Thursday died in Northern California's deadly Carr Fire, according to their relatives.
The kids' mom, Sherry Bledsoe, was in county jail at the time of the fire and was released on Saturday so she could grieve with her family. It then jumped the Sacramento River and took out subdivisions on the western edge of Redding.
It's now the largest of more than 20 fires burning in California.
As of Saturday night, the fire was 5 percent contained.
The latest tally showed at least 657 homes destroyed and another 145 damaged, with the fire having consumed 386 square kilometres. A count by The Associated Press found at least 300 of those structures were homes. Firefighter dies on front linesJeremy Stoke, a fire inspector with the Redding Fire Department, died Thursday night, the Redding firefighters union said.
Her two children, 5-year-old James Roberts and 4-year-old Emily Roberts, were stranded with their great-grandmother Melody Bledsoe, 70, when flames swept through the family's rural property Thursday on the outskirts of Redding.
Sixteen people had been reported missing, but nine of those were found safe, according to Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko, who spoke at a Sunday news conference.
Two people were arrested on suspicion of looting evacuated homes Sunday in Redding after police say they tried to burglarize a home in the evacuation zone where a homeowner had stayed behind.
Wildfires around the state have forced roughly 50,000 people from their homes, said Lynne Tolmachoff, a Cal Fire spokeswoman.
"Jeremy died while battling the Carr Fire".
"Extreme fire conditions continue to challenge firefighters", Cal Fire said in a statement. "I was trying to get to them, I was trying to get to the fire".
Meanwhile, about 120 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Redding, two blazes prompted mandatory evacuations in Mendocino County.
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. The blaze had blackened 150 acres and was at 10 percent containment. The weather service notes that "spreading is not driven by the wind, but rather the fire itself", meaning the rising of hot air and gases inside the fire creates a wind that feeds it.
Authorities also issued evacuation orders in Napa County, famous for its wine, when a fire destroyed eight structures.
Fire officials warned that the blaze would probably burn deeper into urban areas before there was any hope of containing it, though it either changed direction or was stopped before it could burn into the core of the city.
Other major wildfires were raging about 177km east of Los Angeles and near Yosemite National Park, which closed due to the blaze.
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