California's Carr Fire Jumps Sacramento River, Reaching Outskirts Of Redding

An air tanker drops retardant while battling the Ferguson fire on July 21 in Stanislaus National Forest near Yosemite Nation

Police arrest man suspected of starting California wildfire

By late afternoon Thursday, it covered 7,500 acres - or just over 11 square miles - and was still 5 percent contained, according to the San Bernardino National Forest.

Tamara Damante was co-anchoring live coverage of a fast-moving fire in Northern California when she and her colleagues were forced to evacuate the local news station Thursday night.

More than 1,700 firefighters have been trying to control the blaze since it broke out Monday but hot and windy conditions continue fueling it, officials said.

The fire has destroyed 15 structures so far and is threatening nearly 500 more in Shasta County.

The western fires were being supercharged by extreme temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius), erratic winds and low humidity, factors that were expected to remain on Thursday.

Walls of flames are quickly ripping the Northern California city of Redding, where an "out of control" fire has killed one person and is forcing thousands of residents out of their homes.

Three firefighters and an unknown number of civilians had burns, but the extent of their injuries wasn't immediately known, McLean said. (Picture: AP) A house burns during the Carr fire in Redding, California (Picture: AFP) More than 1,700 firefighters are battling the blaze, Cal Fire said in an evening advisory.

"The fire is creating a huge wind vacuum and moving very rapidly toward west Redding".

"We're just going to chill out and sleep and pray that we've got a place to go home to", area resident Joey Silva told the Sacramento Bee as he waited in the Shasta College parking lot.

Smoke from the Cranston Fire is shown on July 26 from east of Lake Hemet in Riverside County California
Handout. Reuters Smoke from the Cranston Fire is shown on July 26 from east of Lake Hemet in Riverside County California

Mercy Medical Center remains on alert for evacuation of the whole hospital, however, five babies have already been evacuated to nearby hospitals from the neonatal intensive care unit.

The Carr Fire is now in a sparsely inhabited area, but Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean warned in a phone interview that it was heading toward Redding, a city of about 90,000 people. Jerry Brown declared states of emergency for the three largest fires, which will authorize the state to rally resources to local governments.

McLean said many people in Redding didn't seem prepared for the blaze to reach their city.

There have been 3,4000 wildfires in California in the previous year, burning 99,000 acres, according to Cal Fire. The Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park, which has charred 45,911 acres (18,500 hectares), was 29 percent contained.

"FIRE Law Enforcement Officers arrested Brandon N. McGlover, 32 of Temecula for allegedly setting multiple fires in southwest Riverside County on July 25, 2018".

Authorities believe McGlover started not only the Cranston Fire but other fires in the region as well.

That blaze had forced 3,200 people to evacuate in resort communities including Idyllwild, Mountain Center and Lake Hemet as it destroyed five structures and threatened 2,100 homes, the agency said.

More evacuations have been ordered as a devastating wildfire torches an area in and around Redding.

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