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Unchecked Northern California Fire Claims Sixth Life

A firefighter surveys a wildfire-damaged neighborhood, Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Keswick, Calif.
A firefighter surveys a wildfire-damaged neighborhood, Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Keswick, Calif.

The wildfire burning almost unchecked in Northern California has claimed it's sixth victim.

At a news conference Sunday, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said the victim, who was not identified, didn't evacuate despite receiving an evacuation warning. Other victims included two children and two firefighters.

He said seven others are still missing in the Carr Fire near Redding, a city of 90,000 about 370 kilometers northeast of San Francisco.

The National Weather Service has predicted continued hot and dry conditions, with wind gusts expected late Sunday afternoon.

"Right now, it's going everywhere. We still have a lot of open line,'' said Anthony Romero, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The fire has already forced tens of thousands to flee from their homes.

Local officials estimate at least 517 structures have been destroyed and another 135 damaged -- a majority of them were homes.

Keswick, a mountain town of about 450 people, was almost burned to the ground, officials said.

The Carr Fire is the largest fire burning in the state Sunday, threatening more than 5,000 structures. The fire is just 5 percent contained.

Wildfires across California have forced more than 50,000 people from their homes, said Lynne Tolmachoff, a Cal Fire spokeswoman. About 12,000 firefighters are battling 17 significant fires, she said Sunday.

"We are well ahead of the fire activity we saw last year,'' Tolmachoff said. "This is just July, so we're not even into the worst part of fire season.''

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