SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. — A deadly California wildfire has doubled in size since Friday. The Carr Fire is now the size of 80,906 acres. A woman and two young children died when the wildfire roared through the city of Redding and forced thousands to seek shelter.
“My babies are dead,” Sherry Bledsoe said through tears after she and family members met with Shasta County sheriff’s deputies.
Bledsoe’s two children, James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4, were stranded with her grandmother Melody Bledsoe, 70, when walls of flames swept through the family’s rural property Thursday.
The rapidly growing fire is being fueled by soaring temperatures, strong winds, dry air, and heavy vegetation. Firefighters in northern California said the fire is only 5% contained. Two others have died.
Jeremy Stoke, a fire inspector with the Redding Fire Department, died Thursday, the Redding firefighters union said.
“Jeremy died while battling the Carr Fire,” the union posted on Twitter. “We ask for your thoughts and prayers for his family and the RFD as we process this tragic loss.”
A private-hire bulldozer operator, who was not identified, also died Thursday while battling the fire.
The fire has destroyed 500 structures.
The blaze is continuing its chaotic path Saturday west of Redding, prompting more evacuations.
More than 3,410 fire personnel are battling the blaze with more than 300 engines and 17 helicopters, Cal Fire reported.
The Carr Fire is the largest fire currently burning in California