Thousand abandoned Properties in California as Wildfire Extend to New Areas
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Thousands of people in Southern California had fled the southeast of Los Angeles, USA, by Saturday morning after a deadly wildfire.
Two firefighters have died and more than 100 homes have burned as wind-whipped flames tore through the region.
The death count from the rapidly growing wildfire rose to five Saturday after two young children and their great-grandmother who had been unaccounted for were confirmed dead.
“My babies are dead,”’ Sherry Bledsoe said through tears after she and family members met with Shasta County sheriff’s deputies.
Bledsoe’s two children, James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4, were stranded with her grandmother, Melody Bledsoe, 70, when walls of flames swept through the family’s rural property Thursday on the outskirts of Redding.
The three were among more than a dozen people reported missing after the furious wind-driven blaze took residents by surprise and leveled several neighborhoods.
Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said he expected to find several of those people alive and just out of touch with loved ones. Officers have gone to homes of several people reported missing and found cars gone — a strong indication they fled.
The Northern California Carr Fire is among the most serious of several blazes burning in the most populous US state.
More than 1,300 firefighters were battling the fast-moving Cranston Fire, which began on Wednesday and forced the evacuation of about 7,000 people, the US Forest Service said.
It added that the hazards created by Cranston and another fire have caused the temporary closure of all US Forest Service lands within the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
The Carr Fire outside Redding swept across a river late Thursday and engulfed the western part of the city of 90,000 people, said Bret Gouvea, a Cal Fire commander.
Scott McLean, a spokesman for the department, said law enforcement colleagues were “doing evacuations as fast as we can” because the fire was moving so fast.
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