One killed, residents flee city of 90,000 as wildfire nears

A firefighter tackling the blaze in Redding California which is just one of 88 burning across the United States

The blaze has killed two so far - a bulldozer operator and a firefighter - and has burned three firefighters, destroyed dozens of homes and forced thousands of terrified residents to flee, the AP reported.

"We're not fighting a fire", said Jonathan Cox, battalion chief with Cal Fire.

The Carr Fire's footprint grew by 60 percent overnight and by Friday morning had scorched 44,450 acres (18,000 hectares), CalFire officials said. A man using a bulldozer to stop the fire from spreading has also died.

"The fire is moving so fast that law enforcement is doing evacuations as fast as we can".

Firefighters tried in vain to build containment around the blaze today but flames kept jumping their lines, he said. The California National Guard is helping with the firefight, McLean told CNN.

At least 65 homes had been destroyed, but a walk through at least one neighborhood revealed dozens more reduced to ash and rubble.

"The fire is creating a huge wind vacuum and moving very rapidly toward west Redding". Fire officials said about 600 homes are in immediate danger as thousands of people are being evacuated.

Flames have consumed trees, houses and historic buildings in Shasta County for days and temporarily closed traffic along Highway 299.

KRCR, a Redding TV station and CNN affiliate, interrupted its newscast and evacuated its facility Thursday night as the fire approached.

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News anchors Allison Woods and Tamara Damante were broadcasting live Thursday night when employees were told to leave the station.

The Medical Center has not received evacuation orders but has chosen to evacuate the babies due to the time and resources required to evacuate them.

"Several staff members have evacuated their own homes then returned to care for patients" Plummer said.

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Riverside County.

A deadly wildfire in Northern California has claimed the life of a firefighter and left three more injured. Braden Varney, 36, a heavy fire equipment operator, was killed last weekend while battling another blaze near Yosemite National Park.

"I didn't know if the fire was just going to jump out behind a bush and grab me and suck me in", Williams said.

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

The fire allegedly was intentionally set Wednesday and quickly spread through timber and brush near the town of Idyllwild and other communities about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

This year so far, nearly 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) have been blackened by wildfires, above a 10-year average of 3.6 million acres (1.5 million hectares) over the same period, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

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