One Dead As California Battles Raging Wildfire Spreading Near City

One Dead As California Battles Raging Wildfire Spreading Near City

In the north, new evacuations were expanded to about 2,200 people in the wilderness recreation region near Redding that included Shasta and its historic former courthouse and ruins of brick buildings that make up Shasta State Historic Park. The emergency personnel represented a slew of agencies, including Cal Fire, the Riverside and Los Angeles County fire departments and the San Bernardino National Forest agency.

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 suspected serial arsonist has been arrested for allegedly setting fires that forced the evacuation of thousands of residents across southern California.

The blaze that broke out Monday exploded late Thursday and raced into small communities west of Redding before entering the city limits. "Their efforts have been hampered today due to extreme fire behavior and unfavorable weather conditions". 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.

Mandatory evacuations were extended overnight to include the city of Shasta Lake, which has about 10,000 residents. The fire was just 25 percent contained.

The blaze, which is raging west of the park, has burned 44,223 acres and is 27% contained, the US Forest Service said.

"Thank you for your understanding and for your support of the 3,400 firefighters hard at work protecting our park", the park tweeted Thursday.

Firefighters are battling steep and rugged terrain along with dry and receptive fuel beds.

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The western fires were being supercharged by extreme temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius), erratic winds and low humidity, factors that were expected to remain on Thursday.

Anchors with KRCR announced that the station was evacuating while on-air, then signed off.

"We're just going to chill out and sleep and pray that we've got a place to go home to", area resident Joey Silva told the Sacramento Bee as he waited in the Shasta College parking lot.

"When I saw my rear-view mirror when we were driving away tonight", Damante said, "I don't know what the future holds for tomorrow morning in just a few hours".

"We've been here live and right now we are being evacuated".

An explosive wildfire tore through two small Northern California communities Thursday before reaching homes in the city of Redding, destroying dozens of structures and a historic schoolhouse, and causing burn injuries to civilians and firefighters, a state fire official said.

"The only buildings left standing down there right now are the fire station and a couple of the restrooms", Shasta County Fire Chief Mike Hebrard told the paper.

McLean says three firefighters and an unknown number of civilians have burns but didn't know the extent.

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