A firefighter watches flames advance up a hill towards homes as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. (REUTERS Photo)
LOS ANGELES, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Two firefighters have been killed and dozens of homes have been destroyed by a destructive wildfire in the Shasta County in the western U.S. state of California, authorities said on Friday.
The fast-moving wildfire, dubbed the Carr Fire which started Monday, has exploded to more than 44,000 acres with only 3 percent contained as of Friday Morning. At least 65 structures have been destroyed, 55 have been damaged and nearly 5,000 are still threatened by the blaze, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).
The fire, raging out of control, surged into the edges of the city of Redding Thursday night, forcing residents to flee. Redding, a city home to around 90,000 people, is about 250 kilometers north of Sacramento, the capital of California, and 190 km south of the border of the state of Oregon.
"The fire became very active throughout the evening. Firefighters continue to work aggressively to build containment lines around the Carr Fire. Their efforts have been hampered overnight due to extreme fire behavior and challenging wind conditions," said CalFire in a latest update.
Redding Electric Utility announced widespread power outage Thursday night. At the request of the fire authorities, and to maintain system stability due to multiple line outages, power to most of north Redding was shut off momentarily.
More than 1,700 firefighters are battling the blaze on the scene, and are aided by 110 engines, 34 water tenders and 10 helicopters.
A Redding Fire Department firefighter was killed while battling the devastating fire, local officials said Friday. Another firefighter hired to operate a bulldozer was killed Thursday. Several other firefighters were injured and hospitalized.
"Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the 2 firefighters we lost fighting the #CarrFire & with the many Californians who have lost their homes," tweeted California's Governor Jerry Brown Friday morning.
"We are with you," he added.
Continued hot dry weather is forecasted for the remainder of the week with high temperatures, adding to the difficulty of firefighters in California.