Thou­sands flee deadly wild­fires in tin­der dry north­ern Cal­i­for­nia

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - JONATHAN COOPER

Thou­sands more peo­ple have fled their homes af­ter wild­fires surged near a small lake town in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

In all, more than 10,000 peo­ple are un­der manda­tory evac­u­a­tion or­ders from the two blazes in Men­do­cino and Lake coun­ties.

Those fires are among 17 burn­ing across the state, where fire crews are stretched to the limit, although the ad­vance of the state’s largest, dead­li­est blaze has now slowed slightly af­ter days of ex­plo­sive growth.

A man whose wife and two great­grand­chil­dren are among the six peo­ple who died in the so-called Carr Fire, near Redding, Cal­i­for­nia, said he did not re­ceive any warn­ing to evac­u­ate.

Ed Bled­soe told CBS News he did not know his home was in dan­ger when he left his wife, Melody, and the four- and five-year-old chil­dren to run an er­rand on Thurs­day. Mr Bled­soe said he re­ceived a phone call from his wife 15 min­utes later say­ing he needed to get home be­cause the fire was ap­proach­ing.

He said one of the chil­dren told him the blaze was at the back door. When he tried to re­turn, the road was blocked with cars, and flames pre­vented him from re­turn­ing on foot.

The lat­est evac­u­a­tions in­cluded about 1,000 peo­ple in Men­do­cino County. The rest are in Lake County, where res­i­dents of the town of Lake­port, which has a pop­u­la­tion of 5,000, were ordered to leave on Sun­day night. Two other towns with about 5,000 peo­ple are also un­der manda­tory evac­u­a­tion.

The wild­fires that started on Fri­day are about 100 miles south-west of Redding.

As of Mon­day, the Redding fire had de­stroyed 723 homes, up from a pre­vi­ous count of 657 homes.

When he tried to re­turn, the road was blocked with cars, and flames pre­vented him from re­turn­ing on foot

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