A bulldozer operator was killed in the so-called Carr Fire, a blaze in Shasta County that has tripled in size in the last two days to 28,000 acres (11,300 hectares), the state's forestry and fire protection department said.
Thursday, a private bulldozer operator was killed.
The operator, who has not been identified, is the state's second fire-related death in recent weeks.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean said: 'The fire is moving so fast that law enforcement is doing evacuations as fast as we can.
Three other firefighters and an unknown number of civilians had burns, but the extent of their injuries wasn't immediately known, McLean said.
Dry grass and brush in steep terrain was fueling the blaze, according to Cal Fire officials. The California National Guard is helping with the firefight, McLean told CNN.
On Thursday, officials said as many as 5,000 structures remained threatened.
"The fire is creating a huge wind vacuum and moving very rapidly toward west Redding".
As its officers were going door-to-door to help people escape the flames late Thursday, the California Highway Patrol took to Facebook to urge residents to leave.
Highway 74 is closed from the city of Hemet to Lake Hemet.
Smoke from the Cranston Fire is shown from east of Lake Hemet in Riverside County California U.S
Around 5:45 p.m. Thursday, new mandatory evacuations were ordered on the north side of Garner Valley and in the area of Hialeah Way.
A reporter with KRCR-TV choked up as she reported live updates about the fire before the station had to go off the air later.
The Carr Fire is "taking down everything in its path", he said. Fern Valley and Pine Cove no longer under evacuation order.
Medics and hospital staff have been directly impacted by the fire.
He said the hospital was preparing high-risk patients to be evacuated but there were no immediate plans to do so.
By midnight Thursday, the Carr Fire had burned almost 30,000 acres in Shasta County and was just 6 percent contained, according to data from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
As the Carr fire burned through Shasta Co., wildfires scorched several other parts of the state.
The fire has now burned 44,450 acres as of Friday morning, jumping from the around 29,000 acres it was on Thursday.
There have been 3,4000 wildfires in California in the past year, burning 99,000 acres, according to Cal Fire.
Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula was booked on suspicion of five counts of arson, state fire officials said. In a matter of hours, it grew to 7.5 square miles (19 square kilometres).
The area around Idyllwild was the site of a massive wildfire in July 2013 that burned more than 27,000 acres.
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