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One dead as raging California wildfire spreads near city

27 July, 2018, 23:44 | Author: Joanna Little
  • One Dead As California Battles Raging Wildfire Spreading Near City

The fire, which is located east of Hemet, prompted officials to close sections of Highway 74 between the Cranston Fire Stations and Lake Hemet, as well as part of Highway 243 between Pine Cove and Mountain Center, according to the San Bernardino National Forest.

"We were fortunate enough that the wind changed about hours ago and it is pushing the fire back", said Wright, at about 1:15 a.m. local time.

Three firefighters and an unknown number of civilians had burns, but the extent of their injuries was not immediately known, McLean said.

"Right now they're doing what they can, they're trying to make a stand where they can, if possible", McLean said.

The Cranston Fire was the largest of at least five police believe were purposely set by a man whose auto was spotted at the starting point of the blaze in Riverside County, officials said.

California authorities say a wildfire ripping through Shasta County in the north has grown Thursday after tripling in size overnight. They said the fire behavior has been erratic and unfavorable weather conditions have made progress hard.

Cal Fire reports the Carr Fire has burned 28,763 acres and is only 6% contained as of Thursday night.

The state of California is dealing with several wildfires that have consumed buildings and forced evacuations.

The so-called Carr Fire was just one of several wildfires that have dispatched firefighters to all corners of the state amid an oppressive heat wave.

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California Gov. Jerry Brown had declared a state of emergency for Riverside and Shasta counties on Thursday in response to the fire. The emergency personnel represented a slew of agencies, including Cal Fire, the Riverside and Los Angeles County fire departments and the San Bernardino National Forest agency.

Hundreds of miles to the south, winds were absent over the fire in Southern California's San Jacinto Mountains.

The blaze in the San Jacinto Mountains erupted Wednesday and quickly turned into a wall of flame that torched timber and tinder-dry brush.

William Blodgett of Idyllwild said he couldn't get home because of the fire and had to wait along with others at a gas station in nearby Mountain Center - until the fire hopped a highway and began to move in his direction. One firefighter responding to that blaze was killed - Cory Iverson, a 32-year-old with Cal Fire who left behind a pregnant wife and a 2-year-old daughter.

The Cranston fire, which started last Wednesday, has burned down five homes and forced thousands of residents to leave their homes in the Idyllwild area.

In the Sierra Nevada, famed Yosemite National Park closed Wednesday as smoke from a fire to the west cast a pall on the region.

An evacuation center has been set up at Banning High School in Banning.

The closure through at least Sunday led to at least 1,000 campground and hotel bookings being canceled, park spokesman Scott Gediman said.

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