Shasta County woke up to shocking developments Thursday morning. The Carr Fire, which had been at around 6,500 acres with 24 percent containment late Wednesday, exploded in the night’s wee hours and Cal Fire now lists it at 20,000 acres with 10 percent containment.
The fast-moving wildfire is now threatening communities just west of Redding, such as Keswick and Old Shasta forcing numerous evacuations. The Redding Record Searchlight reports that Shasta County Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters went door to door to tell people to evacuate. Several homes have already been lost.
People could be seen streaming into Redding from the west early Thursday. From the Record Searchlight:
A line of cars, pickups and campers — some pulling boats — headed toward Redding in the early hours Thursday, as the Carr Fire inched closer to Old Shasta and Keswick, forcing new evacuations.
Efrain Holguin was camping with a group of about 25 family members in the Dry Creek Group campground when firefighters showed up.
“Cal Fire came over and told us we had to leave, that the fire was getting too close before you got trapped in there,” he said from his pickup, which he had pulled over on Highway 299 in Old Shasta while the group found hotels to stay in Redding.
Cal Fire says the fire destroyed 40 boats and some buildings at the Oak Bottom Marina on Whiskeytown Lake.
Officials have closed Highway 299 in Redding at Buenaventura Boulevard to westbound traffic.
Important #CarrFire Update 7/26 a.m. - SR 299W closure for westbound traffic is now at Buenaventura Blvd. Closure to eastbound traffic remains at Buckhorn Summit. Photos from Roger Lucas @CaltransD2 Maintenance earlier this morning off SR 299W pic.twitter.com/7IMF0wOR3G— Caltrans District 2 (@CaltransD2) July 26, 2018
The following evacuation and road closure information comes Cal Fire:
Evacuations: The community of French Gulch is under an evacuation order. Residents along SR 299 west of Trinity Mountain Rd to the base of Buckhorn Summit are also under evacuation order. Residents along Whiskey Creek Rd to include the boat launch/day use areas are evacuated. SR 299W closure for westbound traffic now at Buenaventura Blvd. Closure to eastbound traffic remains at Buckhorn Summit.
Residents located east of Trinity Mountain Road use evacuation center located at Shasta High School 2500 Eureka Way in Redding. Residents located west of Trinity Mountain Road use evacuation center located at Weaverville Elementary School 31020 HWY 3 in Weaverville.
Road Closures: SR 299 at Buckhorn (Trinity/Shasta County Line) and SR 299 at JFK Drive (Whiskeytown.) Trinity Mountain Rd at SR 299 and Whiskey Creek Rd at SR 299 are also closed.
Live coverage from KRCR below.