Hope grows as deadly Northern California blaze slows down

Victims of California wildfire named

Victims of California wildfire named

The Carr Fire, the deadliest and most destructive of almost 90 wildfires burning from Texas to OR, has charred 89,194 acres (36,095 hectares) of drought-parched vegetation since erupting last Monday.

A fire truck drives along Highway 299 as the Carr Fire continues to burn near Whiskeytown, Calif., on July 28, 2018.

The explosive wildfire raged through several Northern California communities Thursday night, destroying dozens of homes after thousands of terrified residents fled in miles-long traffic jams.

Anna Noland, who was evacuated twice in three days, learned Friday that she had lost her home.

She expected to spend Saturday night at a shelter at Simpson College in Redding while she searches for another place to live.

"This was my house since I was born", he said, getting emotional. "You're frightened a little bit because you don't know if you're going to come back to your house and the town is going to be different".

TRT World's Arabella Munro reports.

Meanwhile officials said a second firefighter died fighting a huge blaze to the south near Yosemite National Park.

Bledsoe's husband, Ed, wasn't home when the fire struck, according to an online fundraiser created by another family member. The flames ripped through northwest Shasta County then spread southeast, sweeping across the Sacramento River late Thursday and roaring toward the city limits of Redding, which is home to 92,000. The flames were just 5 percent contained. A count by The Associated Press found more than 300 homes destroyed.

The day after being told there were no bodies in the home, a relative who's a firefighter told the department they needed to search the rubble again.

Donna Araiza, founder of the Alyssa Araiza "Wings of Angels" organization for seriously ill children, said Stoke regularly donated to her group, as well as the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "The heat and the stress of it all, and praying for everybody and all of our friends".

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Two firefighters have also been killed in the blaze.

The other three victims - 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe and her two great-grandchildren, 5-year-old James Roberts and 4-year-old Emily Roberts - died when walls of flames swept through the family's rural property on the outskirts of Redding. Bosenko didn't provide any further details about the victim, but said the case was under investigation.

Bosenko said authorities are still looking for seven people after finding nine others who had been reported missing.

A total of 38,000 people have been evacuated from Shasta County. That fire, which started July 13, claimed the life of a Cal Fire bulldozer operator, whose vehicle tumbled down a hillside during the building of a defensive line.

Authorities also issued evacuation orders in Napa County, famous for its wine, when several structures caught fire, the Napa Valley Register reported.

Cal Fire said the Cranston Fire, about 110 miles (177 km) east of Los Angeles had blackened 12,300 acres and was 16 percent contained.

In Redding, Bret Gouvea, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's incident commander said officials were now feeling more hopeful.

The fire that was ignited Monday in forested hills grew overnight to 127 square miles (328 square kilometers).

Some evacuations were lifted but officials said Yosemite Valley, the heart of tourism in the park, will remain closed until August 3. Residents in some neighboring Lake County communities have also been told to leave their homes.

Acting District Superintendent Matt Teague says he helped clear out keepsakes early Thursday from the old courthouse in Shasta State Historic Park.

"Save it for your family, save it for your family", he says he reminded himself during two adrenalin-filled hours. The only good news is the two air tankers have been joined by 17 helicopter tankers that began flying missions as of 8:30 a.m. this morning.

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