At least 20 missing in California wildfire with thousands more evacuated

UKIAH, Calif.  Officials in California say at least 20 people are missing in the Carr Fire north of San Francisco. Six people were previously confirmed dead in that fire, and more than 27,000 remain evacuated.

Crews are lighting “backfires” along the hillsides to burn away dry brush in an effort to deprive the explosive Mendocino Complex Fire of potential fuel.

The massive blaze doubled in size overnight, devouring more than 74,000 acres in four days along the border of two northern California counties. Greg Folger and neighbors decided to stay, even as flames threatened to overtake his ranch.

“At the last minute we were all just going to meet at the lake and dive into the lake,” Folger said. “Cover ourselves with towels and try and wait it out.”  

On Tuesday, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman walked CBS News through some of the hardest hit areas.

“We were expecting a fire like this in September, October. Not at the end of July,” Allman said.

California’s summer of record heat is making it harder to fight fires. Crews saved Folger’s home and thousands more, but they warn this is only the beginning of what’s already a destructive fire season.

“I know God’s with me. He’s always been, always protecting me,” Folger said. “Thank God for those firefighters they’re amazing.”

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Categories: National, US & World News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *