Arson Arrest Made In Fast-Moving Southern California Fire

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And in Northern California's Shasta County, the Carr Fire has burned 20,000 acres and is just 10 percent contained. CBS affiliate KFMB-TV reported that the Riverside Sheriff's station was conducting evacuations of Idyllwild, the Apple Canyon area, the Lake Hemet area, Mountain Center Community, the Hurkey Creek area and Camp Scherman Girl Scout Camp.

Officials said they had dispatched more than 1,700 fire personnel, including dozens of fire crews, more than 100 fire engines along with bulldozers, helicopters and vehicles to deliver water.

A privately hired bulldozer operator was killed while battling the fire, Cal Fire reported, although this person was also not immediately identified while their next of kin was contacted.

Cal Fire Shasta County has ordered the entire city to evacuate as well as all of Shasta Dam Boulevard, the Shasta Dam Visitor Center and Summit City.

Sharon Stapleton of Shasta, Calif., said she and her husband were awakened when law enforcement officials came to their door in the middle of the night telling them to evacuate. They were assisted by fire-retardant drops from air tankers and a decrease in wind conditions in the area on Friday. The state is battling ferocious fires at both ends of the state.

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).

The Carr Fire is one of 88 burning nationally, mostly across the American west. CHP says he was driving a auto that matched the description of a vehicle seen near the origin of the fire.

Cars scorched by the Carr Fire rest at a residence in Redding Calif. on Friday
Cars scorched by the Carr Fire rest at a residence in Redding Calif. on Friday

"The operator was working on an active section of the Carr Fire", Gouvea, the incident commander, said at a news briefing.

William Blodgett of Idyllwild said he couldn't get home because of the fire and had to wait along with others at a gas station in nearby Mountain Center - until the fire hopped a highway and began to move in his direction.

3-D map showing the APPROXIMATE location of the Cranston Fire at 2:36 a.m. PDT July 26, 2018. But it wasn't swift enough to spare them all.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials say the fire that started in the Whiskeytown community is 45 square miles (115 square kilometers). Jerry Brown declared states of emergency for the three largest fires, which will authorize the state to rally resources to local governments.

Officials from the San Bernardino National Forest told residents on Thursday the fire would cause closures for several campgrounds and picnic areas as well.

Hundreds of miles to the south, the Cranston Fire grew to 7.5 square miles (19 square kilometers) and about 3,000 residents remained under evacuation orders in Idyllwild and several neighboring communities.

A suspected serial arsonist has been arrested for allegedly setting fires that forced the evacuation of thousands of residents across southern California.

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