The firefighters killed in the blaze included Don Ray Smith, 81, of Pollock Pines, a bulldozer operator who was helping clear vegetation in the path of the wildfire.

A bulldozer operator as well as a member of the Redding Fire Department were killed in the blaze.

"Extreme fire conditions continue to challenge firefighters last night", Cal Fire said in a statement released on Sunday. When Jason Campbell returned on Friday, he found their home of five years was gone, along with an RV and a boat. As of Saturday morning, those fires had burned almost 160,000 acres and destroyed over 500 structures.

Some evacuees from a deadly Northern California wildfire say they are frustrated because they don't know whether their homes are standing or were destroyed.

In the past year, neighborhoods in the northern California wine country city of Santa Rosa and the southern California beach city of Ventura have been devastated.


Firefighters are battling 17 wildfires across the state, which have consumed a combined 200,000 acres in terrain stretching from Southern California to the OR border, said Jonathan Cox, battalion chief and information officer with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It said the elderly couple had been caring for the great grandchildren for years in their rental home. Lakeport, home to about 5,000, is around 120 miles north of San Francisco.

The nearby town of Keswick, with a population of about 450, was reduced to cinders, and two firefighters were killed.

One blaze became the Cranston Fire that has grown to 18 square miles in the Idyllwild area of the San Jacinto Mountains and was only about three percent contained by Friday morning.

The fire broke out a day earlier and forced evacuations.

The Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County has burned 53,646 acres and is 30% contained.

"We are simply not getting a break", said Chris Anthony, a division chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

On Saturday, thousands remained under evacuation orders - and 5,000 buildings remained under threat - after officials said the blaze had nearly doubled in size overnight.


At a community meeting in Redding, fire command spokesman Rick Young said 150 fire engines had been newly deployed to the blaze, many from out of state. Crews have been dealing with gusty winds and hot temperatures.

Residents who gathered belongings in haste described a chaotic and congested getaway as sparks flew and fire leaped across the wide Sacramento River, torching subdivisions in Redding.

The latest tally showed 517 destroyed structures and another 135 damaged, Romero said. About 5,000 other buildings were threatened, fire officials said.

Noland is among the 38,000 people evacuated after the Carr Fire roared into the outskirts of Redding in Shasta County, leaving six people dead, including an unidentified person, two firefighters, a woman and her two great-grandchildren, ages 4 and 5.

Greg and Terri Hill evacuated their Redding home of 18 years Thursday night with little more than their medications, photo albums, clothes and firearms, assuming they'd be back home in a few days.

Anna Noland, 49, was evacuated twice in three days before learning through video footage that the house she last saw under dark and windy skies had burned. She says it's hard to believe. It pushed southwest of Redding, the largest city in the region, toward the tiny communities of Ono, Igo and Gas Point, where scorching heat, winds and bone-dry conditions complicated firefighting efforts.

The fire grew slightly to 131 square miles (340 square kilometers) Saturday.


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