Firefighters battling intense heat and strong winds struggled Monday to gain control of a deadly Northern California wildfire that has killed six people and destroyed more than 800 homes. The fire had burned through 150 square miles by late Sunday and was growing, but Cal Fire Incident Commander Brett Gouvea said it was not moving deeper into this town of 92,000. The fire was just 17 percent contained, however, and there was no end in sight to the blazing heat blamed for “firenadoes” – twisting, whirlwinds of flame and ash.
“We’re feeling a lot more optimistic today as we are starting to gain some ground rather than be in the defensive mode all the time,” Carr Fire incident commander Bret Gouvea said. “You’re going to see repopulation in the city of Redding very soon.”
AccuWeather meteorologist Evan Duffey said temperatures have consistently exceeded 100 degrees in Redding the last several days, reaching as high as 113. The area might not see a break in the heat until the middle of next week, he added. Low humidity has added to the problem. “The dryness and extreme heat have led to the extreme fire weather,” Duffey said.