Crews stretched to their limits across the state are fighting flames that have claimed the lives of two firefighters and six civilians.
Don Ray Smith, 81, of Pollock Pines was identified by the Shasta County Sheriff's Office as the man who died while operating a bulldozer. Cal Fire unified incident commander Bret Gouvea said cooler temperatures and increased humidity had given firefighters a window of opportunity to attack the massive fire. When Jason Campbell returned on Friday, he found their home of five years was gone, along with an RV and a boat.
"It's a hard fire to deal with", Austin said, noting the weather was hot and the terrain rugged.
Wiliams was attempting to leave via auto with her two children but, like many others, was forced to leave on foot because of traffic. By Saturday morning, the fire grew to 80,906 acres and is only around 5% contained, according to officials.
In Canada, Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources said on Sunday that there were 39 active fires in the north east of the province, 12 of them out of control.
Looting became a problem several days ago as evacuations began, leading authorities to beef up patrols in neighborhoods, he said Sunday.
He took hundreds of photos, recorded video and texted his wife.
Wildfires around the state have forced roughly 50,000 people from their homes, said Lynne Tolmachoff, a Cal Fire spokeswoman.
As of 6:33 a.m. Friday, the fire has burned 44,450 acres with 3 percent containment, according to Cal Fire officials.
She said the state had experienced considerably more fire activity this year than it did over the same period of time last year, with the worst part of the fire season still to come.
Firefighters discuss plans while battling the Carr Fire in Shasta Calif. on Thursday
The Carr Fire destroyed almost all of Keswick, a hamlet just west of Redding, which is about 250 miles north of San Francisco. The blazes have killed four firefighters in California in a little more than two weeks.
The fire was likely to regain strength later in the day when temperatures were forecast to spike around 110 degrees (43 Celsius) and winds were expected to kick up.
The Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County has burned 53,646 acres and is 30% contained. A total of 3,410 personnel are working to contain the fire, along with 328 fire engines, 17 helicopters and 62 bulldozers.
Authorities also issued evacuation orders in Napa County, famous for its wine, when a fire destroyed eight structures. "We are seeing fire whirls - literally what can be described as a tornado", California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) chief Ken Pimlott told media.
On Saturday, thousands remained under evacuation orders - and 5,000 buildings remained under threat - after officials said the blaze had nearly doubled in size overnight.
Hotter weather attributed to climate change is drying out vegetation, creating more intense fires that spread quickly from rural areas to city subdivisions, climate and fire experts say.
The latest tally showed at least 517 structures destroyed and another 135 damaged, with the fire having consumed 139 square miles (360 square kilometers). More than 5,000 structures are threatened and tens of thousands of people are under evacuation orders.
A raging wildfire in Northern California that swelled in size Friday has killed two people and injured at least three firefighters, officials said. Redding police have an additional 11 reports of missing people, though many of them may simply not have checked in with friends or family, said Redding police Sgt. Todd Cogle. "Within 15 minutes, it burned my house down", he recalled.
He said when the couple first got together, she had about $24,000 in the bank. It pushed southwest of Redding, the largest city in the region, toward the tiny communities of Ono, Igo and Gas Point, where scorching heat, winds and bone-dry conditions complicated firefighting efforts.
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