By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
More than a dozen wildfires blazing all across California have killed eight people and scorched more than 240,000 acres (375 square miles) as of Monday, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Two people were killed in the Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County on Sunday. One of those killed was a Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park firefighter who died Sunday afternoon when a tree fell on him, the Fresno Bee reported. His name was not immediately released.
The death toll in the Carr Fire in Shasta County rose to six on Sunday. Two firefighters and four civilians died in the blaze, KQED Radio in San Francisco announced on Monday afternoon. Seven people are still missing.
Carr Fire victims include:
- Don Ray Smith, 81, a contract bulldozer operator working with Cal Fire
- Jeremy Stoke, a Redding Fire Department firefighter
- Melody Bledsoe, 70
- Bledsoe’s great-grandchildren James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4
Carr Fire Is Ninth Most Destructive Wildfire in California History
The Carr Fire has destroyed more than 800 homes and scorched almost 104,000 acres in northern California. It is now the ninth most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.
As of Tuesday morning, the Carr Fire was only 23 percent contained. However, that figure is up from 17 percent on Monday, according to NPR.
The fire has turned toward rural Shasta and Trinity counties. Nevertheless, public safety officials have not yet allowed the38,000 evacuees to return home.
New Wildfire Starts Near Lakeport, Forcing Evacuations in Kelseyville and Finley
On Monday afternoon, a wildfire exploded in the hills west of the resort town of Lakeport, sending flames surging 20 feet into the air. The explosion forced a new round of evacuations of residents of Kelseyville and Finley, the Sacramento Bee reported on Tuesday.
Residents of the area were told to immediately evacuate east on Highway 29 toward Lower Lake as winds fanned the flames. In all, some 10,000 people in the Lakeport area have been told to leave, fire officials told AP News.
Aerial Efforts Air Firefighters in Efforts to Bring Wildfires under Control
Helicopters made repeated flying runs, dumping water on the flames. To keep the flames from advancing on nearby communities, large aircraft have also dropped tons of orange retardant on the nearby hillsides.
By early evening, the town of Lakeport seemed to be completely deserted, while a few miles away embers, ash and smoke swirled through vineyards where at least one home had gone up in flames.