Carr Fire Update: Thousands Evacuated, Homes Destroyed, Winds Expected to Return

A firefighter works to battle the Carr Fire at a home in Redding, Calif., Thursday, July 26, 2018. (Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

As the Carr Fire turned into a deadly tornado of fire and destruction on Thursday night, thousands of Redding residents fled the area with their valuables, hoping that their houses would be spared from the rampage. While it remains unclear exactly how many homes were destroyed, we can assume the damage is catastrophic and it’s far from over. Here’s a couple tragic videos of the aftermath:

As of 12:30 pm on Friday, the fire sits at 44,450 acres with 3 percent containment. From what we know, 65 structures have been destroyed with another 5,000 structures threatened. Most of west Redding and all of Shasta Lake City are under mandatory evacuations. Much of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and Old Shasta have burned down.

For updated evacuations, go to CalFire’s Carr Fire page

Here is a look at the firenado seen in Redding last night:

While the flames have calmed this morning, the wind is expected to pick up around 2 pm and last into the night. Many evacuated residents don’t know the current status of their houses and must sit idly by as the fire continues at the will of the winds, with no way to control its path of destruction.

Also, this fire has claimed two lives, as a private worker died while working on a bulldozer and another firefighter died while battling the flames. Please keep their families and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.

Here is a message from Redding Assistant City Attorney Lynette Frediani today, July 27, 2018: Redding Carr Fire Update:

I am working today at City Hall and just got out of an Emergency Response meeting. This is the latest information that we know: The winds are calm right now, but will begin to pick up around 2 p.m. and may gust heavily until midnight. As we experienced last night, this can quickly change the intensity and path of this beast. There were spot fires occurring only a mile ahead all night.

If you live in the City limits and are presently evacuated, you will most likely continue to be evacuated for at least another two days. If you are presently evacuated and live in the County, you may continue to be evacuated for even longer. If you are not yet evacuated and live in the north Hilltop Drive area, you will be evacuated this afternoon. They want everyone out of harm’s way before the winds increase this afternoon and start blowing the fire west, back toward the city.

Shasta Lake City is not under evacuation orders. A lot can change in an hour or two. The goal for firefighters in the Redding area at this time is to hold the fire line west of Interstate 5 and at Lake/N Market/Hilltop. We’ve seen this fire jump roads and the Sacramento River, so it’s not inconceivable it could jump Interstate 5. So the goal at this point is to hold the I 5 line. Subdivisions that have been most heavily impacted are Salt Creek Heights, River Ridge, Land Park, Lake Redding Estates, and Mary Lake. Disgustingly, looters have been spotted in some of the evacuated areas.

The National Guard arrived at 10 a.m. this morning to monitor the evacuated areas and prevent looting. News reports last night listed 15 structures destroyed and two lives lost (City of Redding firefighter and a private dozer operator). It is impossible at this time to estimate the number of homes or lives lost, but it is much more significant than reported. There will be rolling blackouts for several days so please do your best to conserve energy. Highway 44 West was closed at I-5 when I was out surveying the scene at 2 a.m. this morning. But it was open at 7:30 when I came to work, and the downtown area does not appear to have been affected. City Hall and the County of Shasta buildings are open.

As for me, I live in south east Redding and am not in the fire zone at this time. But I have many friends who have been evacuated, several who have lost homes, many who have no idea, and one co-worker who died in the line of duty. Please keep our community and the brave firefighters in your thoughts and prayers, and I will continue to update with any new information I may receive and can verify. I appreciate your thoughts, texts, and calls. If I don’t respond right away, I’m occupied trying to help out but I will keep you updated on Facebook.

Please keep everyone in the line of fire in your prayers.

See photos and videos from the start of the fire

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