Calif. wildfire nears 90,000 acres; search on for missing persons

File Photo: UPI

July 29 (UPI) — A wildfire in Northern California that has killed five people and burned hundreds of structures grew to nearly 90,000 acres Sunday.

The Carr Fire in Shasta County grew to 89,194 acres and remained at 5 percent containment, as 3,388 total fire personnel worked to combat the blaze that began on Monday, according to Cal Fire.

“Extreme fire conditions continue to challenge firefighters last night,” Cal Fire said. “Erratic winds and hot dry conditions resulted in greater growth and increased fire behavior during night operations.”

Five people, including 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe and her two great-grandchildren, were confirmed dead after they had been missing since Thursday and three Marin County Fire Department firefighters were injured.

Redding police Sgt. Todd Cogle told The Los Angeles Times authorities are investigating 13 other cases of missing persons related to the fire, adding there were indications some of those reported missing are safe.

“My hope is that we are able to find all of them eventually, however, the possibility does exist that there may be far more grave situations for some of them,” Cogle said.

Authorities have ordered many evacuations and closed dozens of roadways due to the fire.

The blaze has also destroyed 517 structures and damaged 135 more. Cal Fire said 5,012 structures are threatened by the fire.

Several other wildfires burned throughout the state on Sunday, including the River Fire in Mendocino County, which has burned 11,028 acres and destroyed four residences and one outbuilding since it began on Friday.

The Ranch Fire, which also started in Mendocino County on Friday, grew to 13,242 acres and was at five percent containment Sunday, Cal Fire said.


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