One fatality confirmed in almost 29000 acre Carr Fire

Redding Calif

"This fire is extremely risky and moving with no regard for what's in its path", he said.

There are 28,763 acres alight say the Cal Fire brigade, with the cause of the fire, believed to be a mechanical failure in a vehicle.

Late today, crews found the body of a bulldozer operator who was hired privately to clear vegetation in the blaze's path, McLean said.

Firefighters have been struggling to contain the so-called Ferguson Fire, which has raged near the 768,000-acre park since last week, shrouding the Half Dome and El Capitan peaks in smoke.

"As we mourn the loss, we also battle a fire that is moving extremely quickly and erratically into western Redding", Gouvea said.

The flames moved so fast that firefighters working in oven-like temperatures and bone-dry conditions had to drop efforts to battle the blaze at one point to help people escape. The National Weather Service said Friday that a red flag warning - which indicates a heightened fire risk - would remain in effect until midnight, with gusting winds and low humidity expected to potentially fuel a "dangerous and rapid spread" of fire.

According to the Associated Press' count, at least 125 homes have been destroyed in the Carr Fire.

Redding hospital has been evacuated - with at least five infants being rushed out and some babies being airlifted to hospitals in Sacramento.

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Flames have consumed trees, houses and historic buildings in Shasta County for days and temporarily closed traffic along Highway 299.

Residents were evacuated to a nearby college and elementary school, and a local ABC news station stopped covering the fire in order to evacuate.

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. "We are going to leave the station because (it) is now unsafe to be here".

Medics and hospital staff have been affected by the fire as well.

Some residents drove to hotels or the homes of family members in safer parts of California, while other evacuees poured into a shelter just outside of town.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Shasta and Riverside Counties on Thursday over the Carr and Cranston fires, which were being supercharged by temperatures above 37 degrees, erratic winds and low humidity.

The Carr Fire, one of several burning in the state, tore through Shasta and Whiskeytown before reaching Redding, a city of about 92,000. "There's a lot of fire, a lot of structures burning".

Brandon McGlover, 32, will appear in court today accused of setting a massive blaze that engulfed 4,700 acres of countryside, as well as four other fires.

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