Deadly wildfire hits California – evacuation launched
A fire of massive proportions is quickly ripping through the Northern California city of Redding and has already killed one person while thousands of others are currently running for their lives.
On Thursday night, July 26, 2018, the fire ravaged through several small communities before finding its way into the city, which has around 95,000 residents.
The California Highway Patrol took to their Facebook page to let people know that the fire created a wind vacuum and that it is out of control, urging Redding's residents to leave their homes.
According to Cal Fire Incident Commander Chief Brett Gouvea, the flames are extremely volatile and dangerous and are spreading without any regard for what they might find in their path. Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa.
So far, the inferno has burned around 28,763 acres and it is only 6% contained. When it comes to the cause of the fire, officials believe that a vehicle's mechanical failure might have ignited the blaze.
Only one victim has been reported so far; the man whose identity is yet to be revealed was a private hire bulldozer operator and lost his life on Thursday while battling the fire.
This is the second fire-related death in the past few weeks. A heavy fire equipment operator named Braden Varney also lost his life to the flames while battling another fire near Yosemite National Park.
More than 1,700 firefighters are currently trying to control the inferno and at least three have suffered injuries, although their extent hasn't been revealed.
The residents of Redding have been leaving their homes as the fire threatens to decimate 500 structures, having destroyed 15 already. With the wind picking up, the flames have become even more erratic, which makes the firefighters' task even harder.
KRCR, a local TV station, had to be evacuated and at least five babies have been transported by ambulance or helicopter to hospitals in Sacramento.
This is just one of the 80 wildfires currently active in the US. While some have ignited on their own or by accident, others were started on purpose.
For example, Brandon N. McGlover, from Temecula, was recently arrested and is currently facing five counts of arson to wildland.