(Photo Credits: Craig Clements)
Before the Carr Fire event occurred in Shasta County on July 26, 2018, another significant event occurred on the Eiler Fire on August 2, 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 4, 2018, the Carr Fire is the sixth most destructive wildland fire in California history based on acres burned and structures destroyed. Update: As of November 25, 2018, the Carr Fire is the eighth most destructive wildland fire in California history according to the CAL FIRE website. 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. Update: As of November 7, 2018, the Mendocino Complex has engulfed 410,203 acres and destroyed 246 structures per the CAL FIRE website. The Ferguson Fire started on July 13, 2018, on the Sierra National Forest near Yosemite National Park, which 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 6, 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. Update: As of August 30, 2018, the Carr Fire has consumed 229,651 acres according to the CAL FIRE website. 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. Update: As of August 30, 2018, there was 61 structures damaged and 1,614 structures 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
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
(Photo Credits: Jim Mackensen)
(Photo Credits: Josh Edelson/AFP/gettyimages)
(Photo Credits: Dr. Neal Lareau)
(Photo Credits: Lorena Elebee / @latimesgraphics)
(Photo Credits: NWS Sacramento)
(Photo Credits: National Weather Service)
(Photo Credits: CAL FIRE)
Eiler Fire Pictures
(Photo Credits: Ryan Albaugh)
(Photo Credits: Redding Fire Department)
(Photo Credits: KRCR)
Carr Fire Resources
Eiler Fire Resources
Additional Major Incidents in California
(Photo Credits: OES)
(Photo Credits: CAL FIRE)
Chris Baker, has over thirteen 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 has over nine years of teaching experience in the California Community Colleges System as an Adjunct Instructor in the EMS discipline, Firefighter 1 Academy Instructor, Fire Science Instructor and Adjunct Instructor at the Fresno City College, Career Technology Center, Accredited Regional Training Program. 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 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and the FY 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 was a member of the 2018 and 2019 Safety Stand Down committees. Chris is a member of the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA). He is a member of the Board of Directors and Public Information Officer (PIO) for the National Fire Heritage Center located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Chris is the co-host of the Fire Engineering: The Future Firefighter Podcast. He writes blog articles published through Firefighter Nation and the Fire Engineering Training Community on mentoring the future generations of the fire service.