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    The Carr Fire Event of 2018: Not The First Major Wild Fire Event in Shasta County

    Carr Fire Pipe

      (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.

    The Carr Fire incident has consumed over 141,825 acres and is approximately 41% contained according to the latest CAL FIRE press release.  This major event has devastated the towns of French Gulch, Keswick, Old Shasta, Happy Valley, Igo, Ono and the City of Redding.  These communities endured catastrophic damage with approximately 1,073 structures, 14 commercial structures and 492 outbuildings destroyed.  Currently, there are over 4,500 firefighters entrenched battling on the front lines. The above statistics are incomprehensible; however, the most significant impact from the Carr Fire was the loss of life to both civilians and the firefighting community.  As a community, we will mourn the innocent and precious lives lost together and find a way to rise from the ashes like the Phoenix.


    Carr Fire Event:

    Location: Western Shasta County 

    Redding, California 

    Date of Event: July 26, 2018

    Approximate Time: 19:30 PDT


    Eiler Fire Event:

    Location: Eastern Shasta County 

    Lassen National Forest 

    Near Hat Creek / HWY 299

    Date of Event: August 2, 2014 

    Approximate Time: 18:00 PDT


    Video released by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection shows the fire tornado event in Redding, California from various viewpoints.  Carr Fire Tornado Event


    Carr Fire Pictures 

    The Carr Fire Pyrocumulus

    (Photo Credits: Jim Mackensen)


    Carr Fire Plume Washington Post

    (Photo Credits: Josh Edelson/AFP/gettyimages)


    Dr. Neal Lareau

    (Photo Credits: Dr. Neal Lareau)


    Inside the Redding Fire Vortex

    (Photo Credits: Lorena Elebee / @latimesgraphics)


    NWS Sacramento


     (Photo Credits: NWS Sacramento)

    EF Ratings

    (Photo Credits: National Weather Service)

    Explanation of EF-Scale Ratings


    Top20 Destruction

    (Photo Credits: CAL FIRE)


    Eiler Fire Pictures

    Eiler Fire and Bald Fire

    (Photo Credits: Ryan Albaugh)


    Elier Fire Picture from Redding Fire Department

    (Photo Credits: Redding Fire Department)


    Elier Fire Redding Fire Department Engine

    (Photo Credits: KRCR)


    Carr Fire Resources

    A Rare 'Fire Tornado' Devastated a California Neighborhood. Here's What It Was Like Seeing the 'Apocalyptic' Aftermath

    California’s Carr Fire may have unleashed the most intense fire tornado ever observed in the U.S.

    Fire Whirl In Carr Fire Equal To EF-3 Tornado

    What the Carr Fire vortex or "firenado" looks and sounds like

    143-mph 'fire tornado' that cut a path of destruction is an ominous sign of the future

    Top 20 Most Destructive California Wildfires

    CAL FIRE Carr Fire Incident Information

    Carr Fire Entrapment Fatalities (2018)

    Green Sheet 18-CA-SHU-007808 Burn Over Fatalities

    BLUE SHEET 18-CA-SHU-007808 Burn Over Fatalities

    Smith Fatality Notification

    Stoke Fatality Notification



    Eiler Fire Resources

    After the Eiler Fire Video

    Inside the Eiler Fire Video

    Bald and Eiler Fires - Fire Behavior

    Wildfire Today - Eiler Fire Archives

    CAL FIRE Eiler Fire Incident Information



    Additional Major Incidents in California

    U.S. Forest Service Ferguson Incident Information

    CAL FIRE Ranch Fire (Mendocino Complex) Incident Information

    STATE WILDFIRE UPDATE: August 4, 2018


    OES Map

    (Photo Credits: OES) 



    (Photo Credits: CAL FIRE)




    Chris Baker, has over twelve years of experience in volunteer, combination, and career, fire departments in California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology and Associates of Science Degree in Fire Service Command, Company Officer.  Chris is a California State Fire Training certified Fire Officer, Driver-Operator, Fire Instructor, and Lead Firefighter I Certification Evaluator.  He is a Fire Science Instructor in the California Community Colleges System.  Chris is a member of the California Fire Technology Directors’ Association and the California Training Officers Association.  He served as a volunteer Peer Reviewer on the FY 2017 Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) for both hiring and recruitment/retention.  Chris also served as a Peer Reviewer on the FY 2017/2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG).  He is a Volunteer Advocate Regional Manager, Region IX (CA, NV, AZ, HI) for the Everyone Goes Home Program through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Chris also serves as a volunteer member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health and Survival Section serving in their staging area.  He is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Fire Heritage Center located in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  Chris is a National Fire Service Instructor teaching at notable fire conferences across the country.  He is the co-host of the Fire Engineering: The Future Fighter Podcast.  Chris writes blog articles for Firefighter Nation, Fire Rescue and Fire Engineering Magazines on mentoring the future generations of the fire service. 

    Where Do I Start To Become A Future Firefighter?
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