The Carr Fire continues to rip through Shasta County, now sitting at 112,888 acres burned and 30 percent containment. The fast-moving flames charred through Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and burned through the town of Old Shasta on its way to Redding. After the flames died down on the west side of Redding, officials were able to begin assessing the damage.
As of Wednesday morning, 1,422 structures had been destroyed or damaged, placing it as the sixth most destructive fire in California’s history.
With the fire still burning and the damage still being assessed, that number is expected to continue to climb. Although many of the evacuated residents were able to return to their homes over the last few days, 2,546 structures still remain threatened.
— CAL FIRE SHU (@CALFIRESHU) July 31, 2018
Now, 4 of the top 8 most destructive California fires have occurred within the last 10 months, including the number one most destructive fire – Sonoma County’s devastating Tubbs Fire.
Fire officials continue to warn Northern California residents of the ongoing threat of wildfires following five years of drought in the area. We’re still in the early stages of this year’s fire season, with most of California’s destructive fires occurring in October following dry summers.
“Now we really are having to look into a crystal ball, not only in terms of fires we’re fighting already, but also fires that haven’t even started yet,” said Kelly Huston, a spokesman for California’s Office of Emergency Services. “In the past there was some logic, some time to plan, but we don’t have that time any more because these fires are so hot and so fast they are getting away from us more quicker than they used to.”
The job of a firefighter in California has become much more taxing and dangerous. As the wildfires become more destructive and erratic, firefighters are being put in more deadly situations. Three firefighters have already died in Northern California this year, with two perishing in the Carr Fire and one in Yosemite’s Ferguson Fire. And California is struggling to receive the resources needed to fight these blazes.
Out of top 10 most destructive fires in California’s history, two were in Shasta County and three were in Sonoma County. Let’s hope we don’t continue to add to that list this year.