A fast-growing northern California wildfire killed a second firefighter after high winds drove it into the city of Redding, prompting mass evacuations, destroying 500 structures, and threatening thousands of other dwellings and businesses.
Flames raging in California’s scenic Shasta-Trinity area on Friday erupted into a firestorm that jumped across the Sacramento River and swept into the western side of Redding, home to about 90,000 people, forcing residents to flee.
Governor Jerry Brown requested emergency federal assistance to prevent an “imminent catastrophe” as Shasta County tried to find supplies and water for 30,000 evacuated residents and care for horses and cattle rescued from ranches and farms.
Officials reported 500 structures destroyed by the blaze. In the small community of Keswick, only a handful of homes remain.
Firefighters and police “went into life-safety mode,” hustling door to door to usher civilians out of harm’s way, said Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
California has had its worst start to the fire season in a decade, with nearly 118,000 hectares burned, according to National Interagency Fire Center data. Helicopters and aeroplanes battled the flames for a fifth day on Friday.
Sourse: Aljazeera News