Carr Fire Burning Near Redding Destroys Structures, One Dead

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Over almost two weeks, flames have churned through 60 square miles of timber in steep terrain of the Sierra Nevada just west of the park.

Late Thursday, crews found the body of a bulldozer operator who was hired privately to clear vegetation in the blaze's path, McLean said.

Two other major fires are also burning in the state.

The blaze has crossed the Sacramento River and now threatens hundreds of homes on the western fringes of the city of Redding.

One of the city's hospitals, Mercy Medical Center, said it had treated eight people in its emergency room, including three firefighters for injuries related to the blaze. "There was not much of a warning".

French Gulch resident Raquel Hines said she had two hours to evacuate and that others in the former mining town had as little as 30 minutes to leave.

"The fire became very active throughout the evening", Cal Fire said in a statement early Friday.

'Right now they're doing what they can, they're trying to make a stand where they can, if possible, ' McLean said. "We're fighting the fight right now".

The fire burning west of Redding, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) south of the OR state line, tripled in size overnight and then grew another 50 percent through the day to 45 square miles (115 square kilometers).

Dozens of charred, twisted and melted boats were among the losses at Oak Bottom Marina.

Before that, the blaze swept through the smaller towns of Shasta and Keswick, the Associated Press reported.

The wildfires have dispatched firefighters to all corners of the state amid an oppressive heat wave.

The Ferguson Fire in central California, which has grown to more than 43,200 acres, has forced parts of the nearby Yosemite National Park to close until at least Sunday.

Residents in Shasta County have been urged to evacuate, with the mandatory evacuations increasing as the fire grows.

Dry grass and brush in steep terrain was fueling the blaze, according to Cal Fire officials.

He added: 'It's just a wall of flames.

In the north, new evacuations were ordered for communities in the wilderness recreation region near Whiskeytown Lake as that wildfire tripled in size to more than 31 square miles (80 square kilometres).

Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula was detained Wednesday and is facing five counts of arson to wildland, the Riverside County Fire Department and Cal Fire said.

The Cranston Fire has destroyed five homes and forced some 3,200 people to evacuate.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Shasta and Riverside Counties on Thursday over the Carr and Cranston fires, which were being supercharged by temperatures above 100 degrees F (37 C), erratic winds and low humidity. The closure was heartbreaking for travellers, many of whom mapped out their trips months in advance to hike and climb amid the spectacular views of cascading waterfalls and sheer rock faces.