California fires have forced 50K from homes

California Wildfire Surges Into City of Redding, Population 92000

Man charged with intentionally starting nine Southern California fires

Almost 5,000 other structures remain threatened, officials said.

In Redding, officials stuck a hopeful tone for the first time in days.

Gouvea spoke at a news conference with fire and law enforcement officials. The victim's identity was not released.

Five people have died, including two firefighters, and 17 people are missing.

The Carr Fire that started Monday morning due to mechanical failure of a vehicle nearly doubled in the last 24 hours to about 126 square miles.

The rapidly growing fire is being fueled by soaring temperatures, strong winds, dry air, and heavy vegetation. Flames have destroyed 517 structures in the Redding area, Cal Fire said.

The latest tally of 500 destroyed structures was sure to rise. "More people living in high fire risk areas than usual".

Firefighters and police were going door to door to tell residents to evacuate, they said.

Meanwhile, about 120 miles southwest of Redding, two blazes prompted mandatory evacuations in Mendocino County.

He took hundreds of photos, recorded video and texted his wife.

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"It is what it is", he sighed, and then hiked off. The San Bernardino County Fire Department was called in to tamp down smoking piles of debris that were scattered around the town amid downed electricity lines. The boy said he had to come back to the home because the flames were closing in. He said his crew would be looking for anything salvageable, but there was little left standing.

The missing included a woman and her two great-great grandchildren, the CBS news affiliate in Sacramento reported, citing local police.

"My babies are dead, " Sherry Bledsoe said through tears after she and family members met with Shasta County sheriff's deputies.

He said the fire consumed the house, the walls collapsed and the roof is covering the footprint of the home, making it hard to access. More than 5,000 structures were threatened, and the fire was just 5 percent contained. The flames were just 5 per cent contained, though Gouvea said he expected that number to climb.

A private-hire bulldozer operator, who was not identified, also died Thursday while battling the fire. Stoke joined the Redding Fire Department in 2004 as an engineer and worked his way up to inspector, the union said.

Meanwhile, the Cranston Fire forced the evacuation of over 7,000 people, although some were able to return to their homes early Sunday.

About 12,000 firefighters were battling the fires, she said. At least two flaming tornados toppled trees, shook firefighting equipment and busted truck windows, taking "down everything in its path", said Scott McLean, a spokesman for Cal Fire. "I'm just glad my mom got all the valuable stuff that she wanted out".

A vehicle problem ignited the fire Monday, but it wasn't until Thursday that the inferno exploded and raced into Redding, forcing close to 40,000 people to evacuate. More than 4,500 buildings were under threat, officials said.

The weather forecast for the south part of the Carr Fire near Igo for Saturday calls for a high of 110 degrees, 11 percent relative humidity, and variable winds at 5 to 10 miles per hour gusting up to 13.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, CalFire, said the hot and windy weather conditions would continue, and thus increase the danger from the fire, which was "extremely risky and moving with no regard to what's in its path", according to CalFire Chief Brett Gouvea.

Hughes, the firefighter killed near Yosemite, was originally from Hawaii.

A 32-year-old man has been arrested and charged with 15 arson counts, though it is still unclear if he started the Carr fire. At least seven other firefighters have been injured since the blaze broke out July 13.

Yosemite Valley remains closed and will tentatively reopen to park visitors on August 3.

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

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