REDDING – Thousands of homes in Shasta County remain on the relentless road of the Carr Fire, which killed two firefighters, a Redding great-grandmother, and two small children.
After five days, firefighters only managed to contain 5 percent of the 83,800-acre blaze. It has destroyed 536 buildings and continues to threaten 5,000 others.
The intensity and unpredictability of the fire has amazed even the most experienced firefighters ̵
Since then, about 38,000 people have been evacuated, the fire started, and many could not return to their homes by Saturday night.
Renee Reed, 59, who lives in the small town of Platina southwest of Redding, packed clothes, food for her dog, and sentimental items such as family jewelry and photos before leaving.
Reed has been living in Platina for at least 12 years, she said, and there used to be fire in the area, but not so scary. She had never felt the need to evacuate before.
"You have to do what you have to do," she said, gathering things near her waiting car.
Cal Fire spokesman Steve Crawford said he had not seen anything like the fire seen in his 30-year career.
"This fire is burning in all directions at once," Crawford said at a Saturday afternoon press conference. "Although we have multiple resources, the way it burns … is like having a Santa Ana wind or a strong wind of 60 mph."
An emotional scene unfolded outside the sheriff as a sobbing mother, Sherry Bledsoe, confirmed to the media that her children and grandmother had died in her house in Redding. The trio – Melody Bledsoe, 70, Emily Roberts, 4, and James Roberts, 5 – have been missing since Thursday night.
Investigators inspected a home for burnt victims in the area on Saturday, confirmed Captain Sheriff County Sheriff County sheriff's sheriff. However, it took some time for the investigators to get on the scene, as active gas pipes in the houses in the area burned flames all day long.
Melody's husband, Ed Bledsoe, cried as he told the Sacramento Bee to come back to the house to rescue the three. He left the three at his home to run an errand on Thursday, and when he heard about the fire, he ran back while talking to the children on the phone.
"I talked to them until the fire got them." I tried to come to them, I tried to get to the fire. "
But Bledsoe could not get through to his house." The fire was just so … "he told the bee," I wanted to die there, I wanted to go. "
The other people confirmed by the authorities as dead were two firefighters: Redding Fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke, 37, and the 81- Don Ray Smith, a bulldozer operator, received 19659003] Receive breaking news with our free mobile app Get it from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration for California, which allows counties against forest fires to assist the Federation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide equipment and resources to reduce or prevent the threat of disaster in Shasta County, h it says in a statement by FEMA. The National Guard, according to a Cal Fire official, helped with the firefighting and support. More than 3,400 firefighters fought the fire day and night.
More fires occurred in the lakes of Lake, Mendocino and Napa, prompting Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.
Hot, Dry Weather According to Cal Fire, three-digit temperatures around Redding were reported for the rest of the weekend. With stormy winds and low humidity, weather conditions and dry vegetation "still have the potential to boost fire growth," officials said.
Terrible Lessons from Wine Country Fires – How to Prepare for a Forest Fire in Your Neighborhood (Video)
Four evacuation centers have been set up in Redding and Weaverville, west of Redding. Shasta College reported Saturday that they were fully occupied. Normal Hall President Simpson College told KRCR that he expected his school's evacuation center to be fully occupied by the end of the day.
The Red Cross has opened two shelters and local churches have volunteered to provide shelter
Sheriff officials on Saturday confirmed that they had received reports of possible looting in the evacuated areas.
Residents who lived in Happy Valley experienced forest fires last month. Suebee Semore had to evacuate in June for five days as flames charred the rural area around her house on Cloverdale Road. On Saturday she watched from her house as the neighboring areas were evacuated and flames filled the area with thick smoke.
Her house and the already burnt land seemed safe, but the devastation nearby was breathtaking, she said.
"I have seen forest fires," said Semore, who has lived in the area most of her life. "But I have never seen anything so big."
Semore is no stranger to the danger of fire. In 2014, a fire burned down in this house. She tried to keep the flames with a hose, but had to finally get out. And the newer fire in June hit directly against her property and burned part of the fence. She was just returning from vacation when the fire flared up, causing her to unload her car, load her animals and leave.
Check for updates.