California's Carr Fire Jumps Sacramento River, Reaching Outskirts Of Redding

California fire

A raging wildfire in Northern California grew dramatically on Thursday and Friday, killing at least two people battling the blaze, forcing scores of residents from their homes, destroying more than a dozen buildings and threatening thousands more.

A fast moving fire in northern California jumped the Sacramento River, sending residents in the city of Redding fleeing ahead of the flames late Thursday in one of several wildfires sweeping through the state. The Carr Fire in Shasta County has since claimed the lives of a bulldozer operator and a city of Redding firefighter, according to officials from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the U.S. National Park Service and the Shasta County Sheriff's Office.

The fire erupted at 11:41 a.m. Wednesday off state Route 74 in the forest area between Hemet and Mountain Center, just east of the Cranston Fire Station.

More than 4,900 structures are threatened and an estimated 6,000 people have been evacuated. "There have been some injuries to civilians and firefighters", California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean told the newspaper.

McGlover was being held in the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, according to jail records, and is expected to appear in court Friday morning, according to the Desert Sun.

32-year-old Brandon McGlover was arrested Thursday in connection with the fire and is being held on five-counts of arson.

The fire was growing at a "rapid rate of spread", the San Bernardino National Forest tweeted.

The fire is one of several across California amid a heat wave that has seen days of triple-digit temperatures.

The fire began Monday in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, due to a vehicle mechanical failure.

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Evacuations are in place in many areas on the west and north sides of Redding.

Throughout the day, helicopters and planes dumped water and fire retardant that turned swathes of land and homes pink. Another shelter has been set up at an elementary school.

"There have been numerous homes destroyed in the Carr fire just last night and two deaths that we have confirmed already", Tolmachoff said.

The closure was heartbreaking for travelers who mapped out trips months in advance to hike and climb amid the spectacular views of cascading waterfalls and sheer rock faces.

More than 1,000 firefighters are battling that blaze, which has scorched 7,500 acres and is only 5% contained.

A wildfire in the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California has grown to 18 square miles (46 square kilometers).

"You go there and expect the fresh air and it was the total opposite of that", she said Thursday.

People in the western part of Redding, which has about 92,000 residents, were also asked to evacuate. The fire was just 25 percent contained.

Over almost two weeks, flames have churned through 60 square miles (155 square kilometers) of timber in steep terrain of the Sierra Nevada just west of the park.

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