Killed Including 2 Children and Their Great-Great Grandmother in California Wildfires

A woman watches a plume of smoke from one of several major wildfires burning in California

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said they had not yet been positively identified but were believed to be victims identified by relatives on Facebook and in news media reports as James Roberts, 5, his sister Emily, 4, and Melody Bledsoe, 70. When Jason Campbell returned from the blaze he was fighting on Friday, he found his own home had gone up in flames, along with an RV and a boat.

"It's a hard fire to deal with", Austin said, noting the weather was hot and the terrain rugged.

At least six other people were still listed as missing as of Saturday morning, according to CBS San Francisco.

The state is experiencing longer periods of warm temperatures and dry conditions that are making major fires almost a year-round possibility, said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California Los Angeles.

Fire officials warned that the blaze would probably burn deeper into urban areas before there was any hope of containing it, though it either changed direction or was stopped before it could burn into the core of the city.

"I don't know why it's doing what it's doing, " Cal Fire Chief Steve Crawford said.

Burned vehicles are seen in front of a wildfire-ravaged home, Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Redding, California.

He took hundreds of photos, recorded video and texted his wife.

Family members had been desperately looking for them since flames leveled the home where they were stranded on Thursday.

Redding resident Tim Bollman hiked four miles to check on his home, only to find it had been completely destroyed.

The nearby town of Keswick, with a population of about 450, was reduced to cinders, and two firefighters were killed.

The Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County has burned 53,646 acres and is 30% contained.

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The 45-square-mile fire that began Monday tripled in size overnight Thursday amid scorching temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions.

The fire around Redding was among 17 significant blazes in the state on Sunday that had forced roughly 50,000 people from their homes, said Lynne Tolmachoff, a Cal Fire spokeswoman.

Authorities also issued evacuation orders in Napa County, famous for its wine, when a fire destroyed eight structures.

Firefighters douse a hotspot near various homes as the Carr fire continues to burn near Redding, California, on July 28, 2018.

California department of forestry and fire protection (CalFire) chief Ken Pimlott told reporters they were "seeing fire whirls - literally what can be described as a tornado".

The weather forecast for the south part of the Carr Fire near Igo for Saturday calls for a high of 110 degrees, 11 percent relative humidity, and variable winds at 5 to 10 miles per hour gusting up to 13.

Bledsoe said even though the family was not told to evacuate, he feels more guilty than angry. Crews have been dealing with gusty winds and hot temperatures.

Flames raging in the Shasta-Trinity area erupted into a firestorm that jumped across the Sacramento River and swept into the western side of Redding on Thursday.

The death count from a rapidly growing Northern California wildfire rose to five Saturday after two young children and their great-grandmother who had been unaccounted for were confirmed dead. It has destroyed 517 buildings and damaged another 135.

Officials say at least 500 structures were destroyed by the Carr Fire, which also swept through the historic Gold Rush town of Shasta and hit homes in Redding, a city of 92,000 about 100 miles south of the OR border.

Thousands of dazed evacuees struggled to keep their emotions in check while trying to take care of themselves and their pets as a deadly wildfire in Northern California raged into its seventh day. "Within 15 minutes, it burned my house down", he recalled. She said she nearly grabbed a box of mementos - trinkets, diaries, ticket stubs from her favorite movies - but then thought it would take up too much room in the auto.

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