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In late July, the Carr fire burned through Shasta and Trinity Counties in far-northern California. Driven by dry fuels, hot temperatures and high winds, it became a "fire tornado," jumping the Sacramento River and sweeping through neighborhoods in Redding, the region's largest city. Nearly half of Redding's population had to evacuate and more than 1,000 homes were destroyed. Eight people, including three fire fighters, died.These are stories of how the Carr fire affected the Redding area and some of the challenges facing the recovery effort.

Redding Firefighters Stand Down To Honor Fallen Comrade

A procession of fire trucks and other emergency vehicles filed through the streets of Redding Thursday, accompanying the body of a firefighter who died in the Carr Fire.

Fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke died last week helping Redding residents evacuate as the fire raced into town, burning trees, houses, and anything in its way.  Stoke was one of six people who died in the fire, and the only full-time firefighter.  

Fire crews from near and far took part in the funeral procession and staffed firehouses so that Redding's own firefighters could pay respects to Stoke.  The public will get a chance to pay respects at a memorial service scheduled for Redding Civic Auditorium on August 11th at Noon.

Meanwhile, the fight against the Carr Fire continued unabated.  The containment figure on the fire inched up to 37% on Thursday, far too slow for the thousands of people evacuated a week ago and still waiting to return to their homes.  The number of homes destroyed rose to 1,060, with another 189 damaged by fire.  

Evacuation zones still include parts of Redding and areas west and north of town along California Highway 299 all the way to Lewiston, in Trinity County.  

Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.
Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for three decades. He served two stints as JPR News Director and retired full-time from JPR at the end of 2021. Liam now edits and curates the news on JPR's website and digital platforms.