Two young children and their great-grandmother are reported to have been missing late Friday, when the Carr Fire continued to devastate Northern California in the area near Redding, about 100 miles south of the Oregon border.
The Carr Fire was one of at least 16 major fires burning across the state amid high summer temperatures and dry conditions, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Two firefighters were killed Thursday in the Carr Fire, bringing the total number of firefighters killed this season to three this season, the newspaper reported.
Redding estimated that around 500 homes and other buildings were destroyed, with 5,000 still threatened in the area.
Emily Roberts, 5, her brother James Roberts, 4, and her great-grandmother, Melody Bledsoe, 70, have not been seen since Thursday night, when the fire reached their home in Redding, a friend told the Chronicle family.
Donald Kewley said he called Bled's house when the flames came closer.
"She screamed," It's getting closer! Kewley told the Chronicle, "Then the phone went dead."
On Friday, Kewley said that he and Bledsoe's men were trying to figure out what was happening to the children and their great-grandmother, but had no luck.
One of them Firefighters killed Thursday was identified as Fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke, the record-breaking searchlight from Redding reported.The other was a contract bulldozer operator whose name was not published.
The deaths on three this month after Braden Varney died on 14 July, while fighting a separate fire near Yosemite National Park Monday, which broke out of a mechanical problem with a vehicle, was expanded on Thursday when irregular flames swept through the historic gold rush city of Shasta and nearby Keswick and then tore the Sacramento River in orange as they rushed over the shores to Redding.
Am Thursday night, the flame penetrated from Northwest in Redding and displaced 37,000 inhabitants.
The deadly heat has created tornado-like "fireworks," said Cal Fire boss Ken Pimlott, who wants to summon his residence.
"These are extreme conditions," Pimlott said. We need to take care of evacuation, evacuation, evacuation. "
" These are extreme conditions, so it's burning in California, we need to watch out, evacuate, evacuate, evacuate. "
Mark Ghilalducci, director of the State Emergency Services Bureau, said the fire conditions swept through California were unprecedented.
The Redding Area Has Neighborhoods (19659005) Only a handful of houses remain in the nearby town of Keswick
In California, large fires continued to burn outside the Yosemite National Park and the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs
The Yosemite Valley has been closed since 25 July due to a massive conflagration that has grown to nearly 72 square miles.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report.