Chris Anthony, public information officer at Cal Fire, showed us the destruction the Carr Fire had left.
Amber Sandhu, Record Searchlight
REDDING, California – A wildfire raging in northern California exploded overnight and continued its rapid march towards heavily populated areas on Thursday, consuming nearly 45 Square miles in the late afternoon.
The Carr Fire raged northeast, burning through Shasta and Keswick towards Redding and Shasta Dam.
Officials had evacuation orders to more than 2,200 residents west and north of Redding
California Department of Forestry and Fire Safety officials and Shasta County Sheriff's Office said that numerous homes were burned in the Keswick and Shasta areas.
Since the fire was burning in the area, the fire department had been unable to make an official or even a good estimate of the number of lost buildings leave.
Stand: Thu Day afternoon the fire had consumed 28,763 acres. It was included as 10 percent.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency throughout Shasta County because of the Carr Fire and other fires in the area. Sheriff Tom Bosenko also declared a local state of emergency.
Carr fire in Whiskeytown on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. The fire moves late Wednesday evening east of French Gulch towards Whiskeytown Lake. (Photo: Hung T. Vu) [Photo: Hung T. Vu]
Winds push fire
Mike Hebrard, Shasta County Fire Chief, said winds pushed the Carr Fire northeast toward Shasta Dam.
"The fire in the north, in essence, is running towards Shasta Dam," Hebrard said at a midday press conference.
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Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said the fire was closed down the Sacramento River Trail because the trail users on the western edge near Keswick were at risk.
Highway 299 west of Buenaventura Boulevard was closed and most of the roads west of this intersection were also closed. Most of the residents west of this intersection were ordered to evacuate.
On Thursday, the Fire crews focused on keeping the fire from jumping the Iron Mountain Road in the Keswick area to prevent it from approaching Redding. Cal fire and fire Dept. in the North ” width=”540″ height=”405″ data-mycapture-src=”” data-mycapture-sm-src=””/>
Carr Fire – Cal Fire and Fire Dept. in the north of California meet on Thursday morning, the Carr Fire. The fire continues this morning from Old Shasta to Iron Mountain Road. (Special to the Record Searchlight after photo by Hung T. Vu) (Photo: Hung T. Vu)
"We try to cut it off on Iron Mountain Road and keep it away from the north the city," Hebrard said, "If we can do that today, it will be a big win."
However, the weather will continue to be a challenge for the fire service.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning on Thursday as the temperature reached a hot, sticky and smoky 112 degrees high was expected to reach 110 friday and 109 saturday and sunday, meteorologists said.
Thousands ordered to evacuate
Authorities urged residents to evacuate when told to pack clothing, important documents, medicines, cell phone chargers, and other materials n not to be home for two to three days, Bosenko said.
"People who refuse to evacuate are putting themselves and their families at risk, putting the fire crew at risk," Bosenko said Thursday, there were no reported injuries or deaths from the fire.
The sheriff's office sent evacuation messages to more than 600 houses, which include about 2,200 residents, Bosenko said.
Cody McCoy said he was packed and ready to go. He said he was awake all night and saw the fire from his roof.
His street was evacuated, but McCoy said he had left waiting until the last moment.
Meanwhile, the Oak Bottom Marina on Whiskeytown Lake has been destroyed.
"The only buildings left are the fire station and a few toilets," Hebrard said. "The concession stands burned down."
About 40 boats in the marina were destroyed, he said. Others were freed from their moorings and drifted on the lake.
The Carr Fire devastated much of the Oak Bottom Marina.
Amber Sandhu, Record Searchlight
What Made The Fire Explode
Hebrard said the fire was fired on Wednesday night and was up to half a mile from the main Inferno , The fire was squeezed by the wind sucked in from the shore, he said.
"What we have is a condition here, where it is 110 degrees in the valley, it is 60 degrees on the coast, the hot air rises, the air absorbs itself, and these are the winds we have every night at 7 to 8 pm, and it essentially pushes the fire to the east, to the north, "said Hebrard.
"That's how the fire in the north is heading for the dam, Shasta Dam," he said.
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