Crews attacking the Carr fire in and around Redding said they had located another body - the fourth civilian to perish in that blaze. Officers have gone to homes of several people reported missing and found that cars were gone - a strong indication they fled.
The fire has also claimed the lives of two firefighters and two children and their great-grandmother.
A private bulldozer operator on the fire line and a Redding firefighter were killed in the conflagration.
Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said they had not yet been positively identified but were believed to be victims identified by relatives on Facebook and in news media reports as James Roberts, 5, his sister Emily Roberts, 4, and Melody Bledsoe, 70. Ed Bledsoe was out buying supplies to help others threatened by the wildfire when flames engulfed his home, KGO reported.
"It's a hard fire to deal with", Austin said, noting the weather was hot and the terrain rugged.
A sixth person has died following devastating wildfires in northern California, which saw tens of thousands of people flee their homes.
Fire officials warned that the blaze would probably burn deeper into urban areas before there was any hope of containing it, though it either changed direction or was stopped before it could burn into the core of the city. Unfortunately the fire spread and we no longer have a home but I'm just glad i still have my family safe. would really appreciate some prayers.
Looting became a problem several days ago as evacuations began, leading authorities to beef up patrols in neighborhoods, he said Sunday.
Wildfires around the state have forced roughly 50,000 people from their homes, said Lynne Tolmachoff, a Cal Fire spokeswoman.
But experts say this has been one of the worst starts to the fire season in 10 years - partly due to the 2012-2017 drought that killed off large amounts of vegetation.
Melody Bledsoe (C) and her two great-grandchildren were killed in the massive blaze.
The Carr Fire continues to devastate Shasta County and is now at 89,141 acres and 5 percent containment, according to this mornings Cal Fire update.
Firefighters discuss plans while battling the Carr Fire in Shasta Calif. on Thursday
"This fire was whipped up into a whirlwind of activity" by gale-force winds, he said, "uprooting trees, moving vehicles, moving parts of roadways".
The Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County has burned 53,646 acres and is 30% contained.
At least 125 square miles (320 square km) had been scorched by the Carr fire by Saturday night.
Henke wants more funding from the state legislature to deploy firefighters to areas where conditions are ripe for fast-moving fires, so they can be respond quickly if a blaze breaks out.
The Carr Fire, which has destroyed more than 500 buildings, is the deadliest and most destructive of almost 90 wildfires burning from Texas to Oregon.
Decker said 5-year-old James idolized his great-grandfather and wanted to wear suspenders just like him.
Romero said there are still many uncertainties that could cause the fire to explode. Temperatures were forecast to reach 42.8degC on Saturday, with winds of up to 13kmh, according to the National Weather Service.
A fast-moving wildfire in Northern California that has killed two people nearly doubled in size overnight, officials said Saturday.
The latest tally showed at least 517 structures destroyed and another 135 damaged, Romero said.
Authorities said a second firefighter has died fighting a huge blaze near California's Yosemite National Park.
Greg and Terri Hill evacuated their Redding home of 18 years Thursday night with little more than their medications, photo albums, clothes and firearms, assuming they'd be back home in a few days.
"It's tough", Shyla Campbell said Friday as she sheltered in the city of Shasta Lake. It pushed southwest of Redding, the largest city in the region, toward the tiny communities of Ono, Igo and Gas Point, where scorching heat, winds and bone-dry conditions complicated firefighting efforts.
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The weather service said Phoenix set a record of 115 on Monday and that "more of the same is in store through at least Wednesday". Forecasters also stressed that children, pets and seniors should not be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.