Firefighter killed battling Carr Fire identified

Firefighters monitor the Thomas fire as it burns through Los Padres National Forest in California

A day earlier, the flames turned the sky orange while sweeping through the historic Gold Rush town of Shasta and nearby Keswick, then jumping the Sacramento River into Redding, a city of about 92,000 people and the largest in the region.

"The fire is moving pretty rapidly and taking everything down in its path", Scott McLean, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said late Thursday.

Rick Plummer, director of marketing for Dignity Health's Mercy Medical Center in Redding, said he left the Carr fire command post about 11 p.m. Thursday and arrived home to find a wall of flames a half-mile away and closing in.

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. Two individuals have died battling the fire, and as of Friday morning it had destroyed dozens of homes and structures.

Plummer said he watched doctors, nurses and hospital administrators work through the night even as they got word their own homes had burned. Temperatures are forecast to reach 110 (43 Celsius) Friday.

A shockingly fast-spreading fire overtook the Northern California city of Redding - with a population of about 90,000 - and forced its evacuation Thursday night.

Wildfires may be common in the Western U.S. - sparked by lightning, downed power lines, or people acting foolishly - but their acceleration into massive, dominant fires is further stoked by human-caused climate change, say scientists. The fire was earlier estimated to have claimed almost 30,000 acres and was about 6 percent contained, but authorities said that acreage is expected to increase "dramatically".

Mandatory evacuations were ordered overnight for the city of Shasta Lake, which has about 10,000 residents.

Two other major fires are also burning in the state.




There are more than 1,700 firefighters working to control the flames, of which only six percent are contained so far.

The blaze grew overnight to 70 square miles (180 square kilometers).

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

At least 1,700 firefighters are battling the fire.

In response to the growing blaze, California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Riverside and Shasta counties.

The state of California is dealing with several wildfires that have consumed buildings and forced evacuations.

The blaze on Thursday killed a bulldozer operator as he worked to try to contain the blaze.

In the Sierra Nevada, the Ferguson Fire continues to grow just outside Yosemite National Park.

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