Photos: Carr Fire destroys over 1,000 homes in Redding, California, area; Mendocino Complex fires threaten over 9,200 homes
By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
August 04, 2018, 10:47:16 AM EDT
Minimal relief is on the way for California firefighters battling several massive wildfires that have set large swaths of the state ablaze.
As of Friday evening, the deadly Carr Fire in Shasta County had burned nearly 142,000 acres and was 41 percent contained. It first ignited July 23 following the mechanical failure of a vehicle.
Six people have died in the fire, including two firefighters.
The blaze has destroyed over 1,000 residential structures while damaging 190, according to Cal Fire. Sections of several neighborhoods in the city of Redding were completely lost. Over 1,300 structures remain threatened.
The Redding Police Department announced Wednesday that all 20 reported missing persons have been found.
It is currently the sixth-most destructive wildfire in California history and the 13th deadliest fire on record in the state.
Firefighters have made up some ground on the blaze in the last several days, but persistent dry weather will pose challenges.
“Over the weekend, a storm system coming onshore in the West will bring temperatures down into the 90s and bring a slight uptick of humidity, but there is no rain expected [for the affected area],” AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said.
The wind will be generally light, between 4 and 8 mph out of the south the next couple of days around Redding, according to Duffey. Duffey, who is also a volunteer firefighter, said the weather through the rest of the week won't be ideal for firefighters, but it will be better than it has been.
Evacuation orders have been lifted for Douglas City and portions of Happy Valley, Shasta Lake City and Redding, officials said.
New: controlled burns like this one just outside of Lewiston, CA have kept the Carr Fire from spreading into town so far. Thankfully the wind shouldn't be as strong today. Live coverage from @accuweather now on @DIRECTV pic.twitter.com/ftS2bj4z3B— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) August 1, 2018
Farther south in Mendocino County, the River Fire and Ranch Fire were combined into the Mendocino Complex. Both blazes, which began July 27, are threatening about 9,200 residents in Lake and Mendocino counties. Over 40 residences have been destroyed.
#MendocinoComplex no longer a complex of two fires as the Ranch and River Fires have merged to become the #RanchFire, the 14 largest fire in California history at over 157,000 acres or 245 square miles.— CIIMT1 (@Info_CIIMT1) August 4, 2018
Nearly 2,000 firefighters have been assigned to the blaze, which has burned over 157,000 acres. The cause is under investigation.
“The fire continues to burn aggressively when in alignment with wind, fuel and topography,” officials said.
Air quality around Redding remains an issue. The public is urged to wear a mask if they plan to be outdoors.
Air quality in #Redding and surrounding areas is very poor. Try to stay indoors. If you have to be out, make sure to wear a mask. You can get free masks today at Civic Aud starting 3 pm, thanks to @ShastaHHSA and Lions Club. #CarrFire @CALFIRESHU @ShastaSheriff— Nuriddin Ziyadinov (@NuriddinARC) July 31, 2018
According to CNBC, California has already spent $115 million since the start of the July 1 fiscal year, about one-fourth of the state’s emergency fund budget.
On Saturday, July 28, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency for Lake, Mendocino and Napa counties due to the River, Ranch and Steele fires.
Also on Saturday, Brown also announced that the President Donald Trump signed a presidential emergency declaration that would allow direct federal assistance to further support the communities impacted by the Carr Fire.
Firefighters gain ground on blazes in central, Southern California
The Ferguson Fire, which has consumed over 77,000 acres near Yosemite National Park, forced the closure of Yosemite Valley on Wednesday, July 25. Two firefighters have died while battling the blaze.
Poor air quality and visibility were attributed to the fire. Officials cautioned park visitors that smoke could be heavy at times.
The area is set to stay closed until Sunday, Aug. 5, according to the National Park Service.
Yosemite National Park Announces Yosemite Valley and Other Areas Will Remain Closed through Sunday, August 5, 2018 Due to Continued Unhealthy Smoke Impacts and Active Firefighting Operationshttps://t.co/WrXuKXdpet— Yosemite National Park (@YosemiteNPS) July 31, 2018
The Cranston Fire, burning in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles, is 96 percent contained and has burned over 13,000 acres.
The cause of the blaze has been attributed to arson. Cal Fire officials arrested Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula for allegedly setting multiple fires in southwestern Riverside County on July 25, 2018.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office lifted evacuation orders for the communities of Pine Cove, Fern Valley, Cedar Glen, and portions of Idyllwild outside of the fire perimeter.
"Good work was done on the northeast portion of the fire where the biggest threat to the community persists," officials said Monday.
Firefighters from across 16 states have made their way to California to provide extra firefighting resources and support.
Thank you for the 16 states that have & are sending fire resources to California to help battle the #CarrFire, #MendocinoComplex, #FergusonFire, #WhalebackFire and #CranstonFire. These resources will be helpful in increasing containment on these large wildfires. pic.twitter.com/aySHXaClH2— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) July 30, 2018
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