Carr Fire in Northern California Burns More Than 110,000 Acres

Authorities in northern California say the deadly Carr Fire near Redding has become the seventh most destructive fire in the state's history after burning more than 110,000 acres and destroying more than 1,200 structures.

Some evacuation orders were lifted on Monday evening for some of the neighborhoods located near Interstate 5. Shasta Lake, Happy Valley, and Douglas City were among the cities included in CalFire's latest repopulation advisories. 

According to the report issued by authorities Tuesday morning, the #CarrFire has destroyed at least 884 homes and another 352 other structures and is currently only 27 percent contained. 

CalFire incident commander Brett Gouvea said at a news briefing Tuesday morning that he's cautiously optimistic about the progress crews have been able to make while battling the wildfire.

"We're turning the corner. I hate saying those things - this (fire) has made me a liar so many times," he said.

Up to 37,000 people were evacuated as the flames approached the northern California city of Redding. Authorities began relaxing some evacuation orders Monday night as crews managed to get a better handle on the blaze. 

President Donald Trump signed an emergency measure declaring a state of emergency in California. That order will allow federal authorities like FEMA deploy much-needed resources and coordinate all disaster relief efforts in the area. 

So far, six people have been killed by the fire, including a grandmother and two of her great-grandchildren who perished last Thursday when their home was overcome by flames. On Saturday, the family confirmed on a GoFundMe page set up to assist with funeral expenses that 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe and 4-year-old Emily Roberts and 5-year-old James Roberts had died when flames overtook the home they were in. 

The man who lost his wife and great-grandchildren in the Carr Fire said he had no idea their home was in danger when he left to go run an errand. He recalled his grandson's heartbreaking last words as he tried to get back up the road to get them out. 

"I was talking to my little grandson on the phone, he was saying, 'Grandpa, please, you gotta come and help us, the fire's at the back door,'" Bledsoe told CBS News correspondent Carter Evans. "I said, 'I'm right by you, honey, just hold on, grandpa's coming.'"

He told CBS Sacramento that his wife wrapped the children in wet blankets and she covered them until the fire came and took them. 

"She wet a bunch of blankets and put them down at the side of the bed. She got a wet blanket and put one on her. Got over the top of them, and they lay there until the fire took them," Bledsoe said.

A second person was found dead in another home after a fire destroyed the structure, Bosenko said. 

With a total 1,236 structures destroyed, CalFire says the Carr Fire has become the seventh most destructive fire in California history, passing the 1999 Jones Fire which destroyed 954 buildings.

The number of wildfires this year is higher than what's been seen in the past and the amount of acres burned has more than doubled according to records kept by CalFire. The agency says extremely dry conditions and high heat have defined the fire season across California.

If you'd like to help victims of the #CarrFire, you can find a series of donation links here

Photos: Getty Images

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