Redding In Daylight: Two Dead, Dozens Of Homes Gone
Redding did not awake to a disaster on Friday; it never slept. Daylight revealed the destruction from the Carr Fire: 65 structures gone, 55 damaged.Fire managers reported two deaths: a contract bulldozer operator and a Redding firefighter. Thousands of people fled for their lives as the fire swept into the city after dark on Thursday, faster than firefighters and evacuation warnings could keep up.
Even an evacuation shelter had to move; Shasta High School was the designated shelter for Redding, but the shelter moved to Shasta College when the fire headed for the school.
Evacuation zones now extend from French Gulch, across Whiskeytown Lake, into west and north Redding, and all the way through Shasta Lake City to Shasta Dam.
The fire itself remained unaffected by attempts to corral it. Containment level on Wednesday was measured at 24%, which dropped to 10% Thursday as the fire blew eastward. Redding residents described a wall of flame between the city and the setting sun. By Friday morning, Cal Fire measured the Carr Fire at nearly 45,000 acres, with 3% containment.
The fire started Monday, from what Cal Fire calls "mechanical failure of vehicle;" whether that's a flat tire that scraped a rim on the road or a dragging muffler, the agency has not said officially.
The fire spread quickly from its ignition point at California Highway 299 near Carr Powerhouse road, fueled by near-perfect wildfire conditions: high temperature, low humidity, and a stiff breeze. Thursday's high in Redding of 113 degrees certainly played a part in the fire's run into town.
Three firefighters from Marin County suffered burns on Thursday. They were treated and released from a Redding hospital, but one firefighter will visit the UC-Davis burn center.
Due to the ongoing fire-fighting efforts, the City of Redding and the California Division of Drinking Water are requesting that all City of Redding residents and businesses, especially those not directly affected by the fire, please conserve water. This includes turning off sprinklers, not washing vehicles or pavements, and not filling swimming pools.