Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Woman Killed Alongside Her Great-Grandchildren in California Wildfire

Melody Bledsoe died along with her great-grandchildren James and Emily Melody Bledsoe died along with her great-grandchildren James and Emily
Glenn Montgomery | 30 July, 2018, 14:30

"Over the years, we're putting more people in harm's way", he said.

Fire officials warned that the blaze would probably burn deeper into urban areas before there was any hope of containing it.

"We're feeling a lot more optimistic today as we're starting to gain some ground rather than being in a defensive mode on this fire all the time", said Bret Gouvea, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's incident commander on the blaze around Redding, a city about 370 kilometres north of San Francisco. Gusty winds reaching 60 miles per hour are fanning the flames and creating fire tornadoes, or "firenadoes", that move erratically and are strong enough to overturn vehicles "like toys", McLean told reporters at a news conference late Thursday.

It's now the largest fire burning in California. Officers have gone to homes of several people reported missing and found that cars were gone - a strong indication they fled. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and about 50,000 people were under evacuation orders.

Stoke was the second victim of the fire which started Monday in Shasta County.

Some 3,400 firefighters are battling what is being called the Carr Fir fire, which is growing "uncontrollably" and closing in on homes as high winds and triple-digit temperatures drive flames through bone-dry vegetation. It exploded on Thursday, jumped the Sacramento River and entered the Redding city limits. He was finally able to shave on Saturday when his wife brought him a razor, he said. The Riverside County District Attorney's Office said Brandon McGlover of Temecula will be arraigned Friday on 15 felony counts that carry a potential sentence of life in prison.

"That's what bothers me the most", Franceschine said. "Still out watching over the ones still standing".

The latest tally showed 517 destroyed structures and another 135 damaged, Romero said.

A boat scorched by the Carr Fire floats on Whiskeytown Lake in Whiskeytown, Calif., on Friday, July 27, 2018.

More than 4,000 structures were threatened by the fire, officials said.

A man accused of setting several fires in Riverside County, including the Cranston Fire, was arrested Wednesday, authorities said.

"I was trying to get to them".

Many fire crews turned their focus from the flames to getting people out alive.

The nearby town of Keswick, with a population of about 450, was reduced to cinders.

A firefighting helicopter makes a water drop as the sun sets over a ridge burning near Redding, California.

Liz Williams loaded up two kids in her vehicle and then found herself locked in bumper-to-bumper traffic with neighbors trying to retreat from Lake Redding Estates.

The victims identified by relatives on Facebook and in news media reports were James Roberts, 5, his sister Emily, 4, and their great grandmother, Melody Bledsoe, 70. Government officials claimed that it is the largest fire in California, which is threatening more than 5,000 structures.

As of Saturday night, the fire was 5 percent contained.

A private bulldozer operator on the fire line and a Redding firefighter were killed in the conflagration.

Toys stand untouched near a home destroyed west of Redding. Despite the efforts of 3,400 active fire personnel, the blaze is winning.

Hughes, the firefighter killed near Yosemite, was originally from Hawaii. Earlier this month, firefighter Braden Varney was killed when the bulldozer he was operating overturned while he was fighting the flames near the national park. At least seven other firefighters have been injured since the blaze broke out July 13.

About 37,000 people in California have been forced to leave their homes because of massive wildfires. They include major blazes close to Yosemite National Park and in the San Jacinto mountains.

All nine fires were set Wednesday in the Idyllwild, Anza and Sage areas about 100 miles east of Los Angeles.

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