Firefighters are making progress in battling a deadly wildfire in Northern California but the fire that’s leveled hundreds of homes and forced thousands of residents to flee the area has now crossed over 100,000 acres burned.
The Carr Fire was 23 percent contained as of Monday night, up from about 17 percent on Sunday, as fire crews raced to smother the massive blaze before the weather turned against them. The fire was just 5 percent contained on Sunday morning.
At least six people have died and more than 950 homes and buildings have been destroyed since the fire ignited last week, fire officials said.
Among the dead were two firefighters and a 70-year-old woman and her two great-grandchildren, who died when the fire swept through their home in Redding, California. The sixth victim, who was not identified, did not evacuate despite receiving a warning, authorities said.
Authorities at a community meeting Monday evening said 19 people were reported missing, but they cautioned they likely just haven’t checked in with family members or friends.
The National Weather Service has forecast more hot and dry conditions for the days ahead, along with high wind gusts. Temperatures will remain over 100 degrees through the end of the week.
“Extreme fire conditions continued today while Firefighters worked to build control lines,” Cal Fire said in a statement on Sunday. “Shifting winds, dry fuels and steep drainages contributed to rapid growth.”
The fire, ignited by a vehicle on July 23, has scorched 103,772 acres of land, destroying 818 homes and damaging another 167, officials said Monday. Three commercial structures and 311 outbuildings were destroyed.
Tens of thousands were ordered to evacuate, with four local centers opened to handle the inflows. Some residents got good news on Monday, as evacuation orders were lifted in the area of Douglas City, California.
Over 3,600 firefighters are battling the blaze from the ground and in the air, as officials have deployed 17 helicopters, 334 fire engines, 68 bulldozers and 65 water tenders.
The Carr Fire was one several uncontained wildfires raging in California as the state deals with brutal temperatures and dry conditions.
Another large fire, dubbed the Ferguson Fire, has killed two people, both firefighters, and burned more than 54,481 acres in Mariposa County, California, near Yosemite National Park, authorities said. That fire was about 30 percent contained as of late Sunday.