The Latest: Buildings threatened by wildfire jumps to 5,000

Posted at 6:39 AM, Jul 27, 2018

AP Photos.
REDDING, Calif. (AP) – The Latest on California’s devastating wildfires (all times local):
11:38 a.m.
A spokesman says the number of homes and structures threatened by a Northern California wildfire has increased tenfold to 5,000 after the fire exploded overnight.
CalFire spokesman Scott Kenney said Friday that the updated number reflects recent evacuations.
Kenney says the fire is only 3 percent contained and could spread in any direction.
Officials have put the destruction at 65 structures, though it is likely to jump much higher.
Dozens of homes were destroyed in subdivisions along the Sacramento River.
At least two dozen homes in Redding Lakes Estates were smoldering, though others escaped the flames unscathed.
Aerial footage showed dozens of homes were also in ruins in Keswick Lake Estates to the north.
11:17 a.m.
A 32-year-old man has been charged with intentionally starting nine Southern California fires, including one that has chased thousands of residents of from mountain communities.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office says Brandon McGlover of Temecula will be arraigned Friday on 15 felony counts that carry a potential sentence of life in prison.
All nine fires were set Wednesday in the Idyllwild, Anza and Sage areas about 100 miles east of Los Angeles. One became the Cranston Fire that has grown to 18 square miles (46 square kilometers) in the Idyllwild area of the San Jacinto Mountains.
Five homes have been destroyed, more than 4,900 structures are threatened and an estimated 6,000 people have been evacuated.
McGlover is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. He’s scheduled to appear in court Friday afternoon at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
11:00 a.m.
An official says more than 5,000 people have been evacuated and that authorities expect a destructive blaze in Northern California to continue moving into urban areas.
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services spokesman Kelly Huston says they are coordinating bringing in aircraft from the California National Guard to help fight the flames.
Officials say the extremely erratic wildfire in and around the city of Redding is growing rapidly amid scorching temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions. Temperatures are forecast to reach 110 (43 Celsius) on Friday.
Huston says officials are moving emergency supplies including cots and food to four shelters set up in Shasta County.
He says the shelters are preparing for what could be a "longer-term" event.
10:20 a.m.
A hospital official says eight people with fire-related injuries have been treated at the Mercy Medical Center in Redding, California.
Hospital spokesman Mike Mangas says three of the injured are firefighters hurt in a fatal blaze burning in Shasta County.
He says none of the injuries are serious.
Mangas says people are arriving at the hospital with respiratory problems.
Mangas says six babies in its neonatal intensive care unit, which cares for premature newborns, were evacuated out of precaution.
He says the hospital was preparing high-risk patients to be evacuated, but the hospital remains open and fully functional.
9:25 a.m.
Residents of Northern California communities impacted by a massive wildfire say they had minutes to evacuate after officials knocked on their doors in the middle of the night as the fire expanded rapidly.
Sharon Stapleton tells the Record Searchlight newspaper that she and her husband grabbed a pillow, some shirts and pants, medicine, important documents and their two dogs and left in their sport utility vehicle and their motor home.
Stapleton says they left after a police officer knocked on their door Thursday, which was her 71st birthday.
Stapleton says she celebrated while sitting on a folding chair on the grassy lawn outside a shopping center in Redding, Calif., making calls to find out if their rented home survived.
She says some of her neighbors stayed put, hoping to ride out the firestorm.

8:30 a.m.

Officials have raised the number of buildings destroyed by a massive Northern California wildfire to 65 from 15. Another 55 buildings are reportedly damaged.

The massive blaze was sparked by a malfunctioning vehicle, according to CAL FIRE. 

 8:05 a.m.
Official say a firefighter has been killed by a massive Northern California wildfire, raising the death toll to 2.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Friday that a firefighter with fire department in the city of Redding was killed fighting the blaze in Shasta County.
The department says it is investigating the death. No other details were provided.
The blaze on Thursday killed a bulldozer operator as he worked to try to contain the blaze.

7:40 a.m.
A wildfire in the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California has grown to 18 square miles (46 square kilometers).
Authorities say just 3 percent of the fire’s perimeter is contained Friday morning. Conditions are calm but gusty winds are expected by afternoon.
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.
More than 4,900 structures are threatened and an estimated 6,000 people have been evacuated.
In the Sierra Nevada, the Ferguson Fire continues to grow just outside Yosemite National Park.
Authorities say it is now nearly 72 square miles (186 square kilometers), but containment has increased to 29 percent.
Yosemite Valley and the Wawona and Mariposa Grove areas of the national park remain closed.
7:10 a.m.
Hundreds of people who fled their homes because of a massive Northern California wildfire are crowding into shelters as the blaze brightens the sky with a red glow.
Videos posted to social media show long lines of cars slowly moving on a highway near the city of Redding as the wildfire rages on the hills behind.
Dozens of evacuees are going to Shasta College, where officials have set up a shelter. Another shelter has been set up at an elementary school.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered overnight for the city of Shasta Lake, which has about 10,000 residents.
People in the western part of Redding, which has about 92,000 residents, were also asked to evacuate.
The blaze grew overnight to 70 square miles (180 square kilometers).
6:40 a.m.
More evacuations have been ordered as a devastating wildfire torches an area in and around the Northern California city of Redding. 
The blaze that broke out Monday exploded late Thursday and raced into small communities west of Redding before entering the city limits.
Fire officials say dozens of homes have burned, though conditions make it impossible to determine an accurate count and the number could climb much higher.
A bulldozer operator on the fire lines was killed and three firefighters suffered burns. Some civilians also have been injured.
Mandatory evacuations were extended overnight to include the city of Shasta Lake, which has about 10,000 residents.
Parts of Redding, which has about 92,000 residents and is the largest city in the region, also have been evacuated. 
2 a.m.
An explosive wildfire tore through two small Northern California communities, killing a bulldozer operator on the fire lines, burning three firefighters, destroying dozens of homes and forcing thousands of terrified residents to flee.
Flames swept through the communities of Shasta and Keswick before jumping the Sacramento River on Thursday and reaching Redding It’s a city of about 92,000 people and the largest in the region.
Residents in the western part of Redding who hadn’t been under evacuation orders were caught off guard and had to flee with little notice, causing miles-long traffic jams as flames turned the skies orange.
Many firefighters turned their focus from the flames to getting people out alive.

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