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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 13 November 2018

Deadly northern Californian wildfire tears through US state

A blaze has killed five and forced thousands to flee their homes

Two children and their great-grandmother are among five people to have died in a wildfire decimating parts of northern California, according to reports.

The blaze, which has forced some 38,000 residents to evacuate their homes, is being powered by strong winds and hot, dry weather, causing a series of 'fire tornados' that are powerful enough to pull trees up from the ground and overturn vehicles.

First reports of the inferno, which is believed to have started in a hamlet called French Gulch and is being referred to as the Carr Fire, were received by local emergency services on Monday.

In the time from then to now, officials suggest more than 48,000 acres (194 sq km) of land has been scorched.

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Around 3,400 firefighters are tackling the blaze, but it's believed only five per cent of it is currently under control.

The California National Guard says it has 800 soldiers and airmen currently on the ground or en route to the disaster area.

The Carr Fire ravaged Shasta and Keswick before reaching houses on the outer limits of Redding, a city of 95,000 residents.