Massive Northern California fire gets even bigger

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

Despite the improved mood, a sixth person was killed in the fire, according to Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko.

He said the victim didn't evacuate despite receiving an evacuation warning.

Law enforcement officials are now trying to locate 17 people reported missing, but noted that the number of missing has fluctuated in recent days as new people are reported missing and others located, Redding Police Sergeant Todd Cogle said by telephone.

The fire has also claimed the lives of two firefighters and two children and their great-grandmother. Two firefighters were killed: Redding fire inspector Jeremy Stoke and a bulldozer operator whose name wasn't immediately released.

The blaze in Redding, about 150 miles (240 km) north of Sacramento, on Thursday killed a bulldozer operator working with fire teams to clear brush around the fire.

President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on Saturday and a tearful Sherry Bledsoe confirmed the deaths of her grandmother, Melody Bledsoe, and her children, James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4 in the city of Redding. At least two flaming tornados toppled trees, shook firefighting equipment and busted truck windows, taking "down everything in its path", said Scott McLean, a spokesman for Cal Fire.

A Go Fund Me effort to help Ed Bledsoe had raised half its $30,000 goal by Sunday. The weather service notes that "spreading is not driven by the wind, but rather the fire itself", meaning the rising of hot air and gases inside the fire creates a wind that feeds it.

Five people have died, including two firefighters, and 17 people are missing.

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The fire has destroyed more than 500 buildings and is threatening thousands more. Triple-digit temperatures and dry vegetation are making it hard for crews to corral the blaze. "I know it's just stuff".

Search crews, meanwhile, sifted through the ashes of what used to be the family's neighborhood in Redding, Calif., looking for something much worse.

California fire officials say wildfires around the state have forced roughly 50,000 people from their homes.

Firefighters are battling 17 wildfires across the state, which have consumed a combined 200,000 acres in terrain stretching from Southern California to the OR border, said Jonathan Cox, battalion chief and information officer with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. He said his nephew called him and asked him to come back quickly, but he got stuck in traffic.

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

One blaze became the Cranston Fire that has grown to 18 square miles in the Idyllwild area of the San Jacinto Mountains and was only about three percent contained by Friday morning.

Although well above average for the same period over the past decade, it is down from 5.27 million acres (2.13 million hectares) in the first seven months of 2017.

On Friday the fire was just 3 percent contained as ground crews, helicopters and airplanes battled the flames for a fifth day.

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More than 5,012 structures were threatened by the fire, officials said.

The Carr Fire, which has destroyed more than 650 homes, is the deadliest and most destructive of almost 90 wildfires burning from Texas to Oregon.

Chris Anthony, deputy chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the Carr Fire has scorched 125 square miles.

"However, the possibility does exist that there may be far more grave situations for some of them", Cogle said. It exploded Thursday, jumped the Sacramento River and entered the Redding city limits.

Human remains believed to be that of an elderly woman and her two great-grandchildren have been found at a home destroyed by the wildfire on the outskirts of the Northern California city of Redding, the Shasta County sheriff said on Saturday.

The blaze leveled at least 125 homes, leaving neighborhoods smoldering and 37,000 people under evacuation orders.

Anna Noland, 49, was evacuated twice in three days before learning through video footage that her house had burned.

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