Published: Fri, July 27, 2018
Tech | By Tabitha Holland

Carr Fire: California wildfire blazes toward Redding as evacuations mount - 1 dead

Carr Fire: California wildfire blazes toward Redding as evacuations mount - 1 dead

The Cranston Fire in Riverside County had burned across 11,500 acres and was 3 percent contained at the same time, officials said.

The Forest Service has announced mandatory evacuations for residents in Idyllwild, Apple Canyon area, Mountain Center communities, Lake Hemet area and Hurley Creek area.

Another fire, the Ferguson Fire, has prompted the closure of the most iconic areas of Yosemite National Park until Sunday, killed one person and injured several firefighters.

A private hire bulldozer operator died Thursday while battling the fire but no more details have been released.

Smoke from the Cranston Fire is shown from east of Lake Hemet in Riverside County California U.S
Smoke from the Cranston Fire is shown from east of Lake Hemet in Riverside County California U.S

This year so far, nearly 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) have been blackened by wildfires, above a 10-year average of 3.6 million acres (1.5 million hectares) over the same period, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Sharon Stapleton of Shasta, Calif., said she and her husband were awakened when law enforcement officials came to their door in the middle of the night telling them to evacuate.

"A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior", the Weather Service said.

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


Smoke from the Cranston Fire is shown from east of Lake Hemet in Riverside County, California, U.S., July 26, 2018.

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.

Some 1,700 firefighters are battling the blaze, Cal Fire said.

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


William Blodgett of Idyllwild said he couldn't get home because of the fire and had to wait along with others at a gas station in nearby Mountain Center - until the fire hopped a highway and began to move in his direction. But it wasn't swift enough to spare them all.

Dozens of charred, twisted and melted boats were among the losses at Oak Bottom Marina.

California firefighters face another day of high temperatures as they try to contain a suspected arson wildfire that has forced evacuation of mountain communities and burned five homes east of Los Angeles.

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) declared a state of emergency in Shasta County, warning that Carr fire "continues to threaten critical infrastructure" and saying that "high temperatures, low humidity, and erratic winds have further increased the spread of this fire". That blaze killed 36-year-old Braden Varney, a heavy equipment operator for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection whose bulldozer rolled over into a ravine July 14.


Authorities ordered residents to leave Idyllwild and several neighbouring communities, home to about 12,000 people. That fire, which destroyed five homes, is believed to have been sparked by arson.

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