The Latest: Cop helping people flee wildfire loses home
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):
A Northern California police officer who was helping residents flee a wildfire had his home destroyed by the blaze.
Red Bluff Police Lt. Matt Hansen said Monday that Corporal Ruben Murgia was helping residents evacuate when his pregnant wife and three young children were also ordered to leave their home.
Hansen says the family escaped safely and the 32-year-old Murgia completed his 12-hour shift Saturday, but has been given time off now to help his family recover.
Hansen said a local fundraising effort for Murgia has generated about $10,000 in cash, furniture and clothing.
Hansen said replacing Murgia’s lost clothing is complicated by the fact the 6-year department veteran is 6-foot, 8-inches (2 meters) tall and weighs 300 pounds (136 kilograms).
Hansen says Murgia orders most of his clothing online because stores rarely carry clothes that fit him.
Wind-driven wildfires breaking out across Northern California forced thousands of residents to flee their homes throughout rural regions north of San Francisco.
California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Monday that the major fires continue to grow and threaten hundreds of homes and businesses, but there are no reports of injuries or deaths.
About 3,000 residents evacuated homes in Lake County over the weekend where a wildfire that is not contained at all grew to 12 square miles (31 square kilometers) and destroyed 12 buildings.
Farther north, authorities order residents to evacuate in Tehama and Shasta counties.
Officials say the Tehama wildfire grew to 4 square miles (6 square kilometers), destroyed multiple homes and businesses and threatens 200 more. Officials said that fire is 20 percent contained.