Screen dump of ABC news clip of the wildfires in Southern California
27 Jul 2018

Wildfire state of emergency declared in California - thousands evacuated and firefighters are injured


Residents in the city of Redding, USA, are now being evacuated from the violent forest fires. One person has died and both civilians and firefighters have been injured. The fires are hard to extinguish because the temperature is above 37 degrees C / 99 F. The winds are unpredictable and the humidity is low.

California governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency situation in two areas in the state where large fires are raging, both forest fires and grass fires.

In northern California, the so-called Carr Fire has forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes. Today  Friday, that fire is expected to cover around 11,300 hectares, three times as much as two days earlier.

When the fire spread in Shasta county, it is believed it was started when a land owner drove a shaft machine, reported the rescue service. The details are so far unclear.

Fleeing from the city - firefighters injured

The Carr Fire rages in a sparsely populated area, but on Friday morning, it threatened to approach Redding, a city with 90,000 inhabitants.

The roads out of the city are full of motorists trying to get out. There are a lot of reports that the fire has destroyed the power in different parts of the city.

"The fire moves at such a speed that the police must help out with the evacuations as soon as possible. The fire is very dynamic and spreads quickly, "said Scott McLean, spokesperson for California's Fire Protection Authority.

"Both civilians and firefighters have been injured", he adds

At least five houses have been destroyed in the so-called Cranston fire that rages near the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles. 3,200 people living in the area are ordered  to leave their homes.


Suspect arson

The fire is spreading rapidly and is just one of several forest and fires that began in Wednesday's east of Hemet. The authorities believe that the fires may have been started intentionally by the same person.

A 32-year-old man has been arrested, suspected of five murders, states the USFS forestry authority.

Nearly 700 firefighters fight the large fire which covers around 1,900 hectares.  Only five percent of that wildfire was under control on Thursday afternoon local time.

The so-called Ferguson fire, which extends over 17,500 hectares, has led to the closure of parts of the Yosemite National Park due to the thick black smoke entering the valley.

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