California wildfire kills one, prompts evacuations

Anna Molin

At least one person died in a wildfire that swept through Northern California, destroying buildings and forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate late Thursday.

The blaze, which killed a bulldozer operator working on fire lines, ripped through the villages of Shasta and Keswick before heading toward Redding, a city of more than 90,000 people. Dubbed the Carr Fire, the wildfire began Monday amid extreme temperatures that are expected to continue for the reminder of the week.

“We’re battling a fire that is moving extremely quickly and erratically into Western Redding,” Unified Incident Commander Chief Brett Gouvea said in a press conference.

Gouvea said additional firefighter and civilians had also suffered injuries and urged residents of Redding to evacuate immediately. “This fire is extremely dangerous and moving in no regard to what’s in its path,” he said.

Globally, at least 170 people have died in fires, floods and heat on three continents in recent weeks. In California, parts of Yosemite National Park were closed and visitors told to flee as a fire raged in the forests and mountains. The blaze, called the Ferguson Fire, has killed at least one person, consumed more than 38,000 acres and is about 25 percent contained.

Greek firefighters say that at least 74 people were killed in wildfires in the country’s Attica region, which includes Athens, as a summer heatwave has increased the risk of blazes across Europe.