REDDING, California – The deadlyhas forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes, slowing down the Sunday after days of explosive growth and giving the officials hope, just like them announced the discovery of a sixth death. Officials say there are more than 150 other engines on the way from outside the state to help.
Meanwhile, officials said a second firefighter in the south of Yosemite National Park was killed in a massive fire. Brian Hughes, 33, was hit and killed by a tree as he worked as part of a crew removing brush and other fuel near the front lines of the so-called Ferguson Fire, said National Parks.
In Redding, the officials gave a hopeful tone for the first time in days.
"We feel much more optimistic today because we're starting to gain ground instead of being in defensive mode all the time," said Bret Gouvea of California, the incident commander of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Around Redding, a town about 230 miles north of San Francisco.
Gouvea spoke at a press conference with fire and police officers. Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said the authorities found a sixth victim of the fire in a house that was consumed by flames, though he did not want to say where. The identity of the victim was not published.
The sheriff's department also investigates seven missing person reports, Bosenko said. Redding police have an additional 1
The so-called Carr Fire, which struck Redding – a city of about 92,000 people, was triggered by a vehicle problem Monday, about 10 miles west of the city. On Thursday it swept through the historic gold rush city of Shasta and nearby Keswick, which was driven by gusty winds and dry vegetation. Then she jumped across the Sacramento River and took partitions on the western edge of Redding.
Anna Noland, 49, was evacuated twice in three days before she learned by video on Saturday that the house she had last seen under the dark and windy sky was burned. She was planning to stay in a shelter at Simpson College in Redding while looking for another place to live. "I think I'm still in shock," Noland said. "It's just incredible to know that you do not have a house to go back to."
The latest count found that at least 517 buildings had been destroyed and another 135 damaged, with the fire consuming 139 square miles. A census by The Associated Press found that at least 300 of these houses were houses.
After days of reinforcing the areas around Redding, firefighters were increasingly convinced that the city would avoid further damage. The fire has not grown since Saturday within the city limits, said Gouvea.
Some of the 38,000 people forced to evacuate said they were frustrated because they did not know if their homes were or were destroyed. The authorities had not reopened any evacuated neighborhoods where fires raged for security and ongoing investigations, and urged people to be patient and said they would soon leave the residents behind.
Fed Bollman walked 4 miles on Sunday morning on steep terrain trails to see the house in Redding that he built 13 years ago for his wife and two sons. He found rubble.
"There is not even something to pick," he said. "It's completely gone."
He took hundreds of pictures, recorded videos and texted his wife.
"It's the craziest thing you've ever seen," he said, his eyes filling with tears. But then he composed himself.
"It's what it is," he sighed, then wandered off.
Keswick, a mountain town of about 450 people, became an ashy lunar landscape of blackened trees and smoldering rubble. The San Bernardino County fire brigade was called to crush smoking piles of debris scattered around the city amidst the fallen streamlines.
"What we see here is an incomplete fire situation," said Captain Doug Miles. His crew used hoes, shovels and rakes to open stacks that were family homes a few days ago. The flames burned about 25 blocks, and the "mop-up" work probably took days. He said his team was looking for something to save, but little was left.
Among the casualties were two firefighters and one
"My babies are dead" Sherry Bledsoe said tears after meeting her and her family members Saturday with sheriff's deputies.
Her two children, 5-year-old James Roberts and 4-year-old Emily Roberts, were stranded with their great-grandmother Melody Bledsoe, 70, when flames fell on the family estate on Thursday in the outskirts of Redding
Das Sixth victim not identified evacuated despite evacuation warning, Bosenko said.
It is the largest fire burning in California, threatening more than 5,000 structures. The flames were only 5 percent contained, though Gouvea said he expected this number to increase.
"We are here to the end, and we will find an end, and we will bring some peace to this chaos," he said
Among the firefighters killed in the fire was Don Ray Smith , 81, by Pollock Pines, a bulldozer operator who helped liberate the vegetation on the path of wildfire. Redding Fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke was also killed, but details of his death were not released.
The fire around Redding was among 17 major brands in the state on Sunday, which had forced about 50,000 people from their homes, said Lynne Tolmachoff, a Cal Fire spokeswoman
About 12,000 firefighters battled the fires, she said ,
"We are way ahead of the firefighting we saw last year," she said. "This is only July, so we are not in the worst part of the fire season."
Tom Mahan, a retired hotshot, helpedand still seemed shocked.  "Houses exploded, cars exploded and I have a wife and kids and I said," I better FaceTime my wife just in case & # 39 ;, "Mahan said last week. "I did not let her know why I did it, but I wanted to see her face again."
"It's a heavy fire to deal with," Austin said the weather was hot and the terrain rugged
Authorities issued evacuation orders in Napa County, famous for its wine, as a fire destroyed eight buildings. The fire had blackened 150 acres, but was on Sunday to 50 percent.
Hughes, the firefighter near Yosemite, was originally from Hawaii. He spent four years with the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots in California and achieved the rank of captain. Earlier this month, firefighter Braden Varney was killed when the bulldozer he was working on toppled over as he fought the flames near the National Park. At least seven other firefighters were injured since the fire broke out on July 13th.
Some evacuations were lifted, but officials said that Yosemite Valley, the heart of tourism in the park, will be closed until 3 August.
A major fire continues to burn in the San Jacinto Mountains just east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs, but officials raise evacuation orders for several communities after they reported significant progress by firefighters. The burn marks of Yosemite and Southern California burned nearly 100 square miles.
Carter Evans contributed to this report.