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DISASTERS: California wildfires spreading infographic
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California wildfires claim more lives

Graphic News

July 30, 2018 -- California is experiencing the worst start to the fire season in 10 years, with entire communities engulfed in the north of the state.

Six people, including two children, died in the so-called Carr Fire in the town Redding, in Shasta County, where more than 38,000 people have been evacuated

The two children, 5-year-old James Roberts and 4-year-old Emily Roberts, were stranded with their great-grandmother, Melody Bledsoe, 70, when flames swept through the family's rural property on the outskirts of Redding.

Two firefighters also died, while the sixth victim, who was not identified, reportedly did not evacuate despite receiving an evacuation warning.

The fire around Redding was among 17 significant blazes in the state on Sunday that had forced roughly 50,000 people from their homes, said Lynne Tolmachoff, a Cal Fire spokeswoman.

About 12,000 firefighters were battling the fires, she said.

Meanwhile officials said another firefighter died fighting a huge blaze to the south near Yosemite National Park. Brian Hughes, 33, was struck by a tree and killed while working as part of a crew removing brush and other fuel near the so-called Ferguson Fire's front lines, national parks officials said.

Some evacuations were lifted but officials said Yosemite Valley, the heart of tourism in the park, will remain closed until Aug. 3.

A big fire continued to burn in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs, but officials lifted evacuation orders for several communities after reporting significant progress by firefighters.

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