Redding fire claims two lives, 500 homes |

Redding fire claims two lives, 500 homes

Flames are reflected in a lake near Redding, Calif., where a major wildfire has claimed two lives an 500 homes.

Two firefighters have been killed and an estimated 500 structures have been destroyed by the 81,000-acre Carr fire burning near Redding.

Another 5,000 homes are threatened by the fire, which has damaged 75 structures since it started on July 23.

In an update issued Saturday morning, officials said firefighters worked through the night to build containment lines around 5 percent of the fire.

But with a red flag warning for critical fire weather and a heat advisory, firefighters will be battling unfavorable conditions.

“The winds, high temperatures and dry vegetation still have the potential to fuel fire growth,” said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “Fire spread has been active in all directions and has made significant runs.”

Meanwhile, the 50,000-acre Ferguson fire will keep Yosemite Valley closed until Aug. 3, according to Yosemite National Park.

One person has been killed in the fire and one structure destroyed in the blaze that has been burning for 16 days.

Smoke from the large California wildfires will cause continued hazy conditions in Carson Valley.

“Smoke from various wildfires will continue to create hazy skies and is likely to also degrade air quality at times,” forecasters said. “Smoke could ‘drain’ into some valleys overnight, possible creating periods with unhealthy particulate levels.”

Air quality in Carson Valley didn’t suffer much overnight Friday. The gauge at Ranchos Aspen Park indicated air remained in the good range through the night.

Minden-Tahoe Airport reported visibility of more than 10 miles through Saturday morning.