Speed Reads

wildfires

California's Carr Fire kills 2 young children and their great-grandmother

California's Carr Fire grew from 48,000 to 80,000 acres Saturday and claimed the lives of three more people.

James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4, were trapped by a wall of flames with their great-grandmother, Melody Bledsoe, 70, on their family's property near Redding. "I didn't think the fire could cross the river. Within 15 minutes, it burned my house down," said Eddy Bledsoe, Melody's husband. "She took care of me and them kids like we were a team," he said of his wife. "Every day, every day of her and my life, I told her, 'I want to thank you for being my lady.'"

Two firefighters were previously killed by the blaze. One, Ray Smith, was a bulldozer operator who was clearing vegetation, and the other, Jeremy Stoke, was a Redding fire inspector. More than a dozen other people are missing.

About 500 structures have been destroyed in the Carr Fire, and another 5,000 are still threatened. "I don't know why it's doing what it's doing," said Cal Fire chief Steve Crawford. "It's burning in every direction all at the same time. ... It's burning as if it's got strong wind on it even when there's no wind." The fire is just 5 percent contained.

Two other fires started about 100 miles southwest of Redding on Friday, and California is dealing with a total of 14 large wildfires in locations across the state. President Trump declared a state of emergency Saturday so the counties affected are eligible for federal help.