Jul 27, 2018

Northern California battles "erratic" wildfire

Redding, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

At least two firefighters were killed as a wildfire quickly grew in size overnight Thursday, the LA Times reports.

The details: The wildfire, called Carr Fire, was started by "mechanical failure of a vehicle," according to the New York Times. By Thursday, it had swept into the city of Redding, home to 92,000 people, which is being evacuated.

A CalFire spokesperson, Scott McLean, told the AP: "It's just a wall of flames."

  • Three firefighters and an unconfirmed number of citizens were burned, the AP reports, and "thousands of terrified residents" were forced to evacuate.
  • It spread to more than 28,700 acres by Thursday, NBC News reports.
  • The Carr Fire is so "erratic," per the AP, that firefighters were unable to contain it. McLean said there were tornadoes within the flames "tossing around equipment, blowing windows out of Cal Fire pickup trucks," according to the AP.
  • At least 65 buildings have been destroyed, the AP reports.

The big picture: California is in the midst of a major heat wave and drought that is creating ideal conditions for rapidly spreading wildfires. There have already been 200 more California fires in 2018 as there were in the same period in 2017.

Go deeper on other fires this week:

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Cruise ship evacuations: More Americans test positive for coronavirus

A bus carrying American citizens from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship arrives at the U.S. government-chartered aircraft that is taking them back to the United States while authorities wear protective suits look on at Haneda airport in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Another 14 passengers tested positive for the novel coronavirus during their evacuation from the Diamond Princess cruise ship before being flown in a "specialist containment" area of the plane to the United States, per a Trump administration statement early Monday.

Details: Over 40 Americans who had been on the ship had previously been confirmed as infected and will remain in Japanese hospitals for treatment, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Face the Nation" Sunday. The rest were evacuated, and these latest cases were among them. All evacuees will undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival later Monday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 47 mins ago - Health

GM to exit Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM's Holden brand is popular among racing fans down under, and it's been a regular fixture at events like the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race in Australia. Photo: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Motors is retiring its Holden brand from sales in Australia and New Zealand and winding down operations in the two countries and Thailand by 2021, the company confirmed in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The Holden brand has been in Australia and New Zealand for 160 years, per a GM statement issued in Australia. It is beloved by many motor racing fans down under. Holden produced Australia's first wholly locally made car in 1948.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

See photosArrow4 hours ago - World