Massive Northern California fire gets even bigger

first_imgREDDING, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters battling a huge wildfire in Northern California kept it from doing more damage to the city of Redding but three smaller communities were in danger as flames closed in and residents packed up to leave.The fire grew by about 35 percent overnight to 127 square miles (328 square kilometers) and pushed southwest of Redding, toward the communities of Ono, Igo and Gas Point. The winds that aided firefighters in keeping the flames from more populated areas were propelling it forward at a frightening rate.“We’re not getting a break with the weather,” said Chris Anthony, a spokesman for Cal Fire, the state agency responsible for fighting wildfires. “It just continues to be really hot, really dry and we continue to get those winds. … This fire’s getting so big and there are so many different parts to it.”The so-called Carr Fire was ignited Monday by a vehicle and exploded Thursday night, jumped the Sacramento River and pushed into Redding, about 250 miles (402 kilometers) north of San Francisco and the largest city in the region with about 92,000 residents. Two firefighters were killed and the latest tally of 500 destroyed structures was sure to rise. About 37,000 people are under evacuation orders, 5,000 homes are threatened and the fire is just 5 percent contained.Elsewhere in California, large fires continued to burn outside Yosemite National Park and in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs. Nationally, 89 active large fires have consumed nearly 930,000 acres in 14 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. So far this year, nearly 37,000 wildfires have burned more than 4.25 million acres.last_img read more