Northern California fire rages as a grandmother, 2 great-grandchildren among the dead; looters target evacuees



Trump declares a state of emergency in California

Deadly forest fires have killed five people in California.

The explosive wildfire in Northern California continues to rage Sunday as a civil servant in a city threatened by the flames are also dealing with an outbreak of looting in areas where the residents evacuated.

The Carr Fire has left five dead since it exploded on Thursday: two firefighters, a woman and her two grandchildren, ages 4 and 5.

On Saturday, the flame is pushed to the southwest of Redding, the largest city in the region, in the direction of the small communities of Ono, Igo and Gas Point, where scorching heat, winds and dry conditions have complicated fire-fighting efforts.

The fire, only 5 percent included, increased slightly from Saturday to 131 square kilometers and is the largest fire in California, threatening 5,000 structures. At least 500 homes have been destroyed in the fire so far, FOX40 reported.

Two vehicles that has withstood the Carr Fire, a small cosmetic damage and a destroyed, the rest under level homes in Lake Keswick Estates area of Redding, Calif., on Friday 27 July 2018.

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

“This fire is a disaster,” Sacramento firefighter Chris Harvey told a group of residents, according to the Sacramento Bee. “It is a very large event with very high speed and very high temperatures are going to take a few days.”

The fire has forced more than 38,000 people to evacuate after the fire went to the edge of Salvation, which has a population of almost 91,000. Because there are so many people out of their homes, officials announced on Saturday that the police patrols will be increased and the National Guard troops are brought in to deal with the plunder.

The fire brigade water on a backfire while battling the Carr Fire in Redding, California., on Saturday, July 28, 2018.

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

“We’re experiencing a lot of looting and the strengthening of our security,” Redding police chief Roger Moore told a group of residents on Saturday, according to the Sacramento Bee.


Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko told the group that the authorities had made their first arrest of a suspected looter and got a round of applause, according to the paper.

“We have just an arrest and that person goes to prison and we have to catch him,” he said. “He was a parolee.”

Houses leveled by the Carr Fire line the Lake Keswick Estates area of Redding, Calif., on Friday 27 July 2018.

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The threat of predation comes as dazed evacuees struggle to take care of themselves after the sudden departure on Thursday.

Bonnie and Jerry Kieffaber told the Associated Press they picked up most of their drugs when they left their house, but left behind Jerry’s insulin. Bonnie told the AP away from home all the time is expensive.

“All of our food was there, and now we are draining our checking account trying to keep gas in the car and buy food, too,” she said.

The police tape blocks the house where family members say three people were found dead after a wildfire in Redding, California., Saturday, July 28, 2018.

(AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)

“It is tiring,” Bonnie Kieffaber told the AP. “The heat and the stress of it all, and pray for everyone and all of our friends.”

The firefighters killed in the hell included, Don Ray Smith, 81, of Pollock Pines, a bulldozer operator who was helping clear the vegetation in the path of the wildfire. Rescue Fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke, was also killed, but the details of his death were not released.

Sherry Bledsoe’s two children, James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4, were stranded with their great-grandmother, Melody Bledsoe, 70, when the walls of fire swept through the family’s rural property Thursday on the outskirts of Redding.

James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4, were stranded with her grandmother, Melody Bledsoe, 70, when the fire swept through the rural area where they remained Thursday.

(Family Photo)

“My babies are dead,” Sherry Bledsoe said with tears, after she and family members met with Shasta County sheriff’s deputies.


The children and their great grandmother were among more than a dozen people missing after a raging wind-driven blaze took the inhabitants by surprise, and leveled several neighborhoods.


Two firefighters killed fighting Carr forest fire in California

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said that he expected to make a number of those people in life, and just contact with loved ones. The officers went to the homes of a number of people missing and found, car’s gone — a strong indication that they fled.

The Carr Fire was sparked by a vehicle problem on Monday, but it was not until Thursday that the fire exploded and ran to the communities west of Redding to enter the city limits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @travfed

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