2 arrested, suspected of looting evacuated homes

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The Sacramento Bee newspaper said family members identified the dead as 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe, and her two great-grandchildren, James Roberts, 4, and Emily Roberts, 5.

Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said the Carr Fire in Shasta County is "taking everything down in its path", having already burned dozens of homes in the communities of Shasta, Keswick and the west side of Redding on Thursday night, adding that Redding residents had little warning try to evacuate. Gusty winds reaching 60 miles per hour are fanning the flames and creating fire tornadoes, or "firenadoes", that move erratically and are strong enough to overturn vehicles "like toys", McLean told reporters at a news conference late Thursday. Jerry Brown said drought and climate change mean California faces a "new reality" where lives and property are continually threatened by fire. Temperatures were forecast to reach 42.8degC on Saturday, with winds of up to 13kmh, according to the National Weather Service. Unfortunately the fire spread and we no longer have a home but I'm just glad i still have my family safe. would really appreciate some prayers.

"It's burning in every direction all at the same time", said Cal Fire Chief Steve Crawford. That pull creates strong winds, which form the vortex. Firefighter dies on front linesJeremy Stoke, a fire inspector with the Redding Fire Department, died Thursday night, the Redding firefighters union said.

As of Sunday morning, the fire had consumed more than 89,000 acres and was only 5 percent contained.

The latest tally of 500 destroyed structures was sure to rise. A count by The Associated Press found more than 300 homes destroyed.

Authorities said they were also struggling with the loss. The two fires, burning 50 kilometers apart, started Friday and were threatening more than 350 buildings.

The Carr Fire has killed six people and charred almost 84,000 acres since erupting near Redding as some 3,500 firefighters struggled through a seventh day to corral the flames.

US President Donald Trump on Saturday declared the fire an emergency, authorising federal funds for disaster relief efforts.

Huge fires continued to burn outside Yosemite National Park and in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs.

The fire also reportedly burned structures in Shasta, located 10 miles west of Redding, and in Keswick.

Disclosure: Chriss Street's parents were safely evacuated from their Redding home at around 3 p.m. on Friday.

Looting has been reported in abandoned residences in Redding, and some arrests have been made, according to Police Chief Roger Moore.

The flames moved so fast that firefighters working in oven-like temperatures and bone-dry conditions had to drop efforts to battle the blaze at one point to help people escape. They took all the defensive measures they could and evacuated Thursday before the order.

But when they returned Friday, virtually nothing was left of their home but fine particles of ash.

"It's pretty emotional", Terri Hill said. "That is kind of that new normal that we are dealing with in California".

Firefighters discuss plans while battling the Carr Fire in Shasta, Calif., on Thursday, July 26, 2018.

The confirmed fatalities included James Roberts, 5, and his sister, Emily, 4, and their great-grandmother Melody Bledsoe, 74.

Neither Ed nor any of the Bledsoe family knew an evacuation order had been issued for the area and Ed had taken the only working vehicle to get supplies - only to return to a towering inferno.

"What we're seeing here is an incomplete burn situation", Capt. Doug Miles said as his crew used picks, shovels and rakes to open up piles that just days ago were family homes.

Meanwhile, the Cranston Fire forced the evacuation of over 7,000 people, although some were able to return to their homes early Sunday.

"It's like a war zone", one woman said.

"We got frightful news".

"That's what bothers me the most", Franceschine said.