(Photo Credits: Craig Clements)
Before the Carr Fire event occurred in Shasta County on July 26th, 2018, another significant event occurred on the Eiler Fire on August 2nd, 2014. Both of these events happened late in the afternoon-evening hours approximately (1700 - 2000). Both of these significant events in Shasta County had similar extreme fire behavior and rapid fire growth. The year of 2017 was California's most destructive fire season on record according to CAL FIRE. Now 2018 appears to be no different with a total acreage burned at an estimated 460,000 acres. California has endured an unprecedented and catastrophic few years during what some consider our new normal. Historically, our fire season is during the summer months, however with this extreme fire behavior so early, maybe we should recognize that California no longer has a fire season.
As of today, August 4th, 2018, the Carr Fire is the sixth most destructive wildland fire in California history based on acres burned and structures destroyed. A cataclysmic firestorm is also occurring in Northern California off Highway 20 near Potter Valley, northeast of Ukiah started on July 27, 2018. The Ranch Fire and River Fire, both part of the Mendocino Complex has engulfed over 229, 006 acres and destroyed over 55 residences with 3,529 fire personnel assigned. The Ferguson Fire started on July 13th, 2018, on the Sierra National Forest near Yosemite National Park, has consumed over 81, 699 acres with 2,792 fire personnel assigned. An unfathomable 460,000 acres have burned in California between these campaign fires and fire season has just started.
Due to the multiple wildland fires burning across the entire State of California, resources are stretched extremely thin and now our master mutual aid system has requested additional resources from Australia and New Zealand. On Monday, August 6th, 150 international firefighters will arrive to assist the State of California with the firestorm of 2018. The California National Guard has mobilized over 800 soldiers and the 146th Airlift Wing to help with the firefight. At least 17 States have answered the call and have deployed resources to California including as far as New Jersey. Over 14,000 firefighters currently deployed across California on 17 massive wildfires.