Wildfire Kills Bulldozer Operator in Northern California

Nichole VegaJul 27, 2018

The Carr Fire is "taking down everything in its path", he said. One person died and three firefighters have been injured.

McLean says three firefighters and an unknown number of civilians have burns but didn't know the extent.

The heart of Yosemite National Park remained empty the day after campers and hotel guests were evicted so firefighters could try to keep the state's largest fire from entering the park almost two weeks after it was sparked.

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.

More than 1,700 firefighters have been trying to control the blaze since it broke out Monday but hot and windy conditions continue fueling it, officials said.

"This fire is extremely risky and is moving with no regard to what's on its path", Cal Fire Incident Commander Chief Brett Gouvea told reporters.

"Right now we are being evacuated, that's why we are kind of closing out right now", said news anchor Allison Woods during a live broadcast. "We are going to leave the station because it is now unsafe to be here".

Mercy Medical Center remains on alert for evacuation of the whole hospital, however, five babies have already been evacuated to nearby hospitals from the neonatal intensive care unit.

Medics and hospital staff have been directly impacted by the fire. A Cal Fire spokesman could only confirm portions of west Redding were under evacuation.

The fire burned over the operator and his equipment, making the man the second bulldozer operator killed in a California blaze in less than two weeks.

On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, CAL FIRE Law Enforcement Officers arrested Brandon N. McGlover, 32 of Temecula for allegedly setting multiple fires in southwest Riverside County, California on July 25, 2018.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Shasta and Riverside Counties on Thursday over the Carr and Cranston fires, which were being supercharged by temperatures above 37 degrees, erratic winds and low humidity.

There have been 3,4000 wildfires in California in the past year, burning 99,000 acres, according to Cal Fire.

The fire has now burned 44,450 acres as of Friday morning, jumping from the around 29,000 acres it was on Thursday.

The blaze ignited off Highway 74 in the San Jacinto Mountains around noon Wednesday, and investigators believe it was intentionally set.

Hundreds of miles to the south, the Cranston Fire grew to 7.5 square miles (19 square kilometers) and about 3,000 residents remained under evacuation orders in Idyllwild and several neighboring communities.

More evacuations have been ordered as a devastating wildfire torches an area in and around Redding.

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