The death toll from a Northern California wildfire rose to five with the discovery of human remains believed to be those of a missing elderly woman and her two great-grandchildren.
The Carr Fire has charred almost 84,000 acres (34,000 hectares) of drought-parched vegetation since erupting last Monday. More than 4,000 structures were threatened by the fire, officials said.
President Donald Trump on Saturday signed an emergency declaration for California and authorized federal aid for disaster relief.
Chief Mike Hebrard of the Shasta-Trinity unit of CalFire described dire conditions as firefighters sought to save homes. “The fire ran with such ferocity,” he said. “There were winds, 70 mph winds, tornado like winds.”
So far this year, wildfires have scorched almost 4.3 million acres (1.7 million hectares) across the country, less than last year but still higher than the 3.7 million-acre (1.5 million-hectare) average for the same period over the last decade. California has been particularly hard hit with several fierce blazes menacing large populated areas.