1 person killed in Northern California wildfire

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-08 12:43:06-04

A wildfire in Northern California intensified Thursday night, killing one person and prompting evacuations at a hospital.

The Carr Fire, currently northeast of Redding, has burned 28,763 acres since it began on Monday and is only 6% contained, Cal Fire said.

A private hire dozer operator died Thursday while battling the fire but no more details were released.

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“As we mourn the loss, we also battle a fire that is moving extremely quickly and erratically into western Redding,” Cal Fire Incident Commander Chief Brett Gouvea told reporters.

More firefighters and residents have been reported injured, Gouvea said.

“This fire is extremely dangerous and is moving with no regard to what’s on its path,” he said.

At least five babies are being evacuated from the neonatal intensive care unit at Mercy Medical Center due to the fire, hospital spokesman Rick Plummer said.

Some babies are being airlifted to hospitals in Sacramento while others are being transferred in ambulances.

While the hospital is not under a mandatory evacuation order, the infants are being evacuated because of the time and intense resources needed to relocate them.

Medics and hospital staff have been directly impacted by the fire.

“Several staff members have evacuated their own homes then returned to care for patients” Plummer said. Several members have lost their homes.”

The fire, which is burning at a rapid rate with erratic behavior, has destroyed 15 structures and is threatening about 500 more.

“The fire is creating a huge wind vacuum and moving very rapidly toward west Redding. This fire is out of control!,” the California Highway Patrol said in a Facebook post Thursday night.

KRCR, a Redding, California, TV station and CNN affiliate, interrupted it’s newscast and evacuated its facility Thursday night as the fire approached their studio.

“Right now we are being evacuated, that’s why we are kind of closing out right now,” said news anchor Allison Woods during a live broadcast. “We are going to leave the station because is now unsafe to be here.”

California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. had declared a state of emergency for Riverside and Shasta counties on Thursday in response to the fire.