Carr Fire explodes over 48,000 acres, destroys 500 structures, continues to burn

REDDING, Calif. (KGO) -- The Carr Fire burning in Shasta County near Redding has expanded its destructive path. With nearly 50,000 acres burned, 500 structures destroyed, one firefighter killed, one dozer operator killed, and several others injured -- this fire is creating heartbreaking chaos.

It's clear from driving around neighborhoods west of Redding, the damage from the Carr Fire is much greater than the official numbers.

In Lake Keswick Estates, home after home is burned to the ground, dozens in all from a fire that ripped through here in the overnight hours, driven by dry fuels, low humidity, and high winds.

"A lot of our challenges right now with this fire is the weather. Our humidity is really low," said Eric Colter with the Redding Bureau of Land Management. "High temperatures and we're getting a lot of evening and late afternoon winds."

VIDEO: Drive through Carr Fire near Redding reveals apocalyptic scenes

Up the road just a few miles, an entire community has been lost. The small town of Keswick, population less than 500 people is completely burned to the ground. According to a PG & E survey, just two homes here survived.

And the Carr fire is far from finished. A team of firefighters from the Bay Area is keeping a close eye on the homes that survived in Lake Keswick Estates, even as flames slowly worked their way up a hillside of oily manzanita and dry pines.

"Right now, we've seen some of the inversion layer lift up a little bit," explained Battalion Chief Chuck Pomeranian with the Alameda County Fire Department. "So the smoke has raised up and its allowed some preheating of the materials down below here, the trees, the manzanita get some oxygen back into it and that's why you're seeing the fire flare up a little bit."

Get the latest on the Carr Fire here and the latest on wildfires across California here.

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