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Rediff.com  » News » California blazin': 95,000 acres, 874 structures razed in deadly fires

California blazin': 95,000 acres, 874 structures razed in deadly fires

July 31, 2018 07:56 IST

“It’s crazy, it’s unbelievable, it’s a nightmare.”

That’s how people have described the deadly Northern California Carr Fire, which has claimed at least eight lives, burned hundreds of homes and driven more than 30,000 stunned, mourning residents from their communities.

 

Here’s a view of the unbelievable destruction the fire has brought on.

The fire started a week ago -- last Monday -- was ignited by a vehicle problem about 16 kilometres west of the city. Firefighters had been making progress containing it until Thursday night, when it began to quickly spread. Photograph: Alexandria Sage/Reuters

 

About 12,000 firefighters have responded to the wildfires from withinCalifornia. Another 800 personnel have been deployed by the California National Guard. And 150 fire engines were on the way from as far away as Florida, officials said. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Carr fire, raging in the Shasta County of California, is the deadliest and most destructive of nearly 90 fires burning from Texas to Oregon. Photograph: Fred Greaves/Reuters

The Carr fire -- the largest wildfire currently burning -- has consumed more than 95,000 acres. Photograph: Bob Strong/Reuters

So far this year, bushfires have scorched almost 1.7 million hectares across the country, less than last year but still more than the 1.5 million-hectare average for the same period over the past decade. California has been particularly hard hit with several fierce blazes menacing large populated areas. One of those, the Cranston fire, prompted a rare closure of much of Yosemite National Park last week, while another forced mass evacuations from the mountain resort community of Idyllwild, east ofLos Angeles. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The blaze has destroyed 874 structures -- including 657 residential structures -- and damaged 175 others. More than 5,012 structures are also threatened by the fire. Photograph: Bob Strong/Reuters

The fire has also resulted in eight deaths, including 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe, her great-grandchildren, 4-year-old Emily Roberts, 5-year-old James Roberts and two other firefighters. Photograph: Fred Greaves/Reuters

At least 13 missing persons are reported, Sergeant Todd Cogle said, though early indications are that some of those are safe and may have had to flee their homes without notifying friends or relatives. Photograph: Fred Greaves/Reuters

The devastation astounded Shasta County Supervisor Leonard Moty, who represents much of the area that burned. “I’ve been a lifelong resident of this community. I’ve never seen a fire with such destruction here in this area ever before,” said Moty. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

“It’s terrifying,” Rachel Hines qas quoted as saying by CNN affiliate KRCR. “You’re frightened a little bit because you don’t know if you're going to come back to your house and the town is going to be different.” Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some 38,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders, with 260 National Guard personnel deployed to enforce those orders and staff roadblocks. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The fire, which started a week ago, is only 17 per cent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire. Photograph: Fred Greaves/Reuters

Temperatures right over the fire are expected to reach highs of up to 105 degree Farenheit. While the smoke provided some relief for crews on the ground, it complicated the aerial assault on the fire being waged by helicopters and air tankers, limiting their visibility. “There’s a lot of low-level smoke, which means missions are having to be aborted,” said Jonathan Cox, the Cal Fire spokesman. Photograph: Bob Strong/Reuters

It's not just people who are suffering owing to the inferno. Animals have also lost their homes. However, NGos and people are coming forward to help the animals by providing them food at various shelters. Photograph: Bob Strong/Reuters

According to the Associated Press, the fire is part of a nationwide trend of larger, more destructive wildfires linked to a changing climate. Experts have also pointed to explosive urban growth into areas which were formerly wildlands across California, resulting in more human exposure to wildfires. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images