1700 Firefighters, National Guardsmen Battle Northern California Wildfire That Has Already Claimed Two Lives

Joseph Lafave Contributor
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More than 1700 firefighters, National Guardsmen, and other first responders are fighting a massive wildfire in northern California. The fire, now known as The Carr Fire, is currently burning near the California- Oregon border and has already taken the lives of two responders, forced several families to evacuate their homes, and has engulfed multiple buildings in the city of Redding.

“It crossed the Sacramento River north of Redding from the reports we got,” said Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean while speaking to reporters from the Sacramento Bee. “It’s within the city limits of Redding and it’s in an area of rolling hills, so it’s not house-to-house neighborhoods, but it’s burning into Redding and prompting immediate and urgent evacuations.”

According to a report from UPI, the speed that the fire is traveling and the hot and dry conditions are making it harder for crews to stop the blaze effectively. Authorities also cut power to the area, so the firefighting teams are having to generate their own.

Two hospitals in the area have evacuated some of their more acute patients, and a local news station was forced to close as well as flames threatened the building.

“The fire is moving so fast that law enforcement is doing evacuations as fast as we can. There have been some injuries to civilians and firefighters.” McClean said during the interview.

As more civilians become threatened, officials have concentrated their efforts on evacuations instead of fire suppression and containment.

“They’re trying to make a stand where they can, if possible,” McLean said. “It’s extreme. It’s blowing up off and on again.”

The Carr fire is not the only large wildfire that has broken out in California in recent weeks. Earlier this month a large fire near Yosemite National Park claimed the life of one firefighter and remains only 27 percent contained.