[UPDATE Tuesday] Fire Near Whiskeytown Closes Hwy 299

Screengrab of Flight Tracker

Screengrab of Flight Tracker showing two airplanes and two helicopters on the fire.

A fire burst out alongside Hwy 299 just west of Whiskeytown Lake around 1:15 p.m. According to Cal Fire’s Whiskeytown unit, it started at “HWY 299 & Carr Powerhouse Rd in French Gulch [and] is now 50 acres and 0% contained.”

Caltrans is reporting that Hwy 299 is blocked. “SR 299W at Carr Powerhouse Road (Shasta County) – Roadway currently blocked by emergency vehicle due to vegetation fire.”

Below is a tweet from a photographer showing the smoke at the west end of Whiskeytown Lake.

UPDATE 2:31 p.m.: According to the CHP Traffic Incident Information Page, Cal Fire is requesting Shasta County Sheriff’s Office to assist with the evacuation of French Gulch.

UPDATE 2:40 p.m.: According to the Northern California Geographic Coordination Center, the Carr fire is moving fast. It has a “Critical rate of spread.” They also state there is a “Threat to structures and powerlines.”

UPDATE 2:43 p.m.: The CHP Traffic Incident Information Page states, “Shasta County Sheriff’s Office is doing evacuations.” It also states that the fire started on 299 by the Carr Powerhouse but is running north along Trinity Mountain Road towards French Gulch.

UPDATE 2:49 p.m.: Cal Fire tweeted, “#CarrFire [update] at HWY 299 & Carr Powerhouse Rd. in French Gulch is now 350 acres and 0% contained. @CAL_FIRE is now in unified command with #Whiskeytown @NatlParkService

UPDATE 2:52 p.m.: Here’s a photo of the smoke column:

UPDATE 2:58 p.m.: According to Caltrans, “SR 299W is currently closed near Carr Powerhouse Road, west of Whiskeytown Lake, due to vegetation fire. No detour is available. Motorists are advised to use an alternate route. No estimated time for reopening highway at this time.”

UPDATE 3:17 p.m:

Pyrocumulus cloud rolling up from the Carr Fire.

Pyrocumulus cloud rolling up from the Carr Fire. [Photo by Breanna Nickens Employee at Oak Bottom Marina]

UPDATE 3:40 p.m.: Cal Fire is tweeting, “[A]n evacuation order for French Gulch has been issued. The evacuation center is at the First Baptist Church 1261 Main St in Weaverville.”

UPDATE 4:04 p.m.:
Cal Fire tweeted that the Carr Fire “is now 1000 acres and 0% contained.”
UPDATE 4:26 p.m.: Cal Fire is saying that the evacuation center has been moved to the “Trinity High School in Weaverville in response to the fire evacs around French Gulch.”

UPDATE 5:47 p.m.: Traffic is being diverted onto Hwy 3.

UPDATE 5:49 p.m.: Video of a Cal Fire vehicle being followed by another vehicle as flames reach out into the road.

UPDATE 5:58 p.m.: Cal Fire now says the evacuation center has been moved to the Weaverville Elementary school. According to Trinity County Department of Transportation,

Update 6:05 p.m.: Breanna Nickens, an employee at Oak Bottom Marina, tells us that campers there are being advised by the Whiskeytown Park Rangers that precautionary evacuations are in place now for the area.

Nickens sent us this video.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Cal Fire tweeted that the fire is now 1,500 acres and still has 0% containment. They posted this photo showing the fire headed towards residences.

Carr Fire rolling towards residences.

Carr Fire rolling towards residences. [Photo tweeted by Cal Fire]

UPDATE 6:52 p.m.: The Shasta County Sheriff tweeted, “Evac orders added for residents of Whiskey Creek Road north of Hwy 299 & SR299 west of Trinity Mtn Rd to the base of Buckhorn Summit.”

UPDATE 6:55 p.m.: Shasta County Sheriff tweeted, “Residents east of Trinity Mountain Road use evac center located at Shasta High School 2500 Eureka Way Redding, CA Residents west of Trinity Mountain Road use evac center located at Weaverville Elementary School 31020 State Hwy 3, Weaverville, CA”

UPDATE 8:55 p.m.: Caltrans tweeted, “Truck drivers: If you are using SR 36W to SR 3 (or vice versa) as a detour for SR 299W due to the #CarrFire, that route is 65’ CA Legal *KPRA Advisory: dot.ca.gov/trafficops/tru… Choose another route if you don’t meet this criteria.”

UPDATE 9:48 p.m.: Cal Fire is now tweeting, “#CarrFire [update] at HWY 299 & Carr Powerhouse Rd in French Gulch (Shasta County) is now 2500 acres and 5% contained.”

UPDATE 7:33 a.m. Tuesday: Carr Fire: Map, Detour for 299 Closure, etc.

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47 comments

  • Thank you for this update. Our house right where this fire is and we cant get there. You are the best source of information. Please keep the updates coming!

  • CLAUDIA Johnson

    So sorry it is so beautiful there HOPE no one gets hurt

  • at least we have great water resources near this new fire. should be some great photos from the choppers dipping into lake.

  • Hope those in the evac zones are safe

  • Thank you for the updates Kym. Our kids work at Oak Bottom . Very helpful!

  • I have to say it again kym, you are a jewel!!
    I know you are very humble and say how very intense it is out there for first responders, firefighters, etc. And it is!
    There is also the burden of the messenger and in reporting on intense things must make them so real for you. The courtesy, ethics and commitment you make everyday are just as important as the ones out on the frontlines.
    Can you imagine firefighters stopping what theyre doing to give updates?
    Of course not, & i bet they are all just as grateful for you as all of us out here who know we can count on your up to the minute accurate reporting! ! ♡♡♡

    • Aww! Heart totally warmed! Thank you!

    • OMg, I totally agree. Kym is the best. You said it very well!

    • On a Wildland Fire a command system called the Incident Command System, or ICS is used. Each firefighter is trained ahead in a particular skill. Some are Public Affairs officers or Information officers. That is all they do on the fire. That way the line firefighters dont have to stop to give updates. This is a very effective system that can be used to manage any large event. Fires, earthquakes, floods, etc.

  • I am here now, oak bottom swim beach. No evac for us campers/ swimmers as of yet but definitely not getting out on 299. I have pix too but the smoke hasn’t come down on us quite yet…

  • Continuation from previous comment.

  • Damn it, we had our first AirBnB rental for our cabin coming in today and even though we are far far away from this they were survivors of the Santa Barbara fires last year and want nothing to do with fire. We get to keep the money because it was too late to cancel, I just don’t like making money that way. Stay safe everyone, thank you fire fighters!

    • You don’t have to keep the money. They physically cannot get there! Not their fault…

    • Please refund their money.

    • Please refund ASAP!

      • Oh, ya, you got it wrong, we are off 36 so they could get to us fine. It was their choice to go that way to see the lake. I explained the fire was 50 miles away but they freaked out, that isn’t my fault. My wife and I just spent 3 days driving an hour round trip to get that place in tip top condition for them and my wife has over 20 hours answering all her endless emails, we will average $2.50/hr for all the work we put in. I think they hit Redding at 106F and used the fire as an excuse, they said “Keep the money, we are sorry”. If they couldn’t get here I would refund no problem.

    • Chuck U, I am curious, where is the rental? What is your min/ max stay and deposit amount? OR just link if possible. I have a renter and am familiar with the difficulties you are facing. Refunding the money at this point is essentially costing you money which is why these rules exists both within AirBnB and in a traditional lease agreement. I grew up in French Gulch on East Fork Rd and might be interested in staying at your rental if it becomes available again at some point in the future. Thanks, Serval

  • Chuck, I got the same problem as you. But our renters get turned around because of forest service roads being cluttered up with logging slash for hours at a time.

    “Motorists are advised to use an alternate route.”

  • Love the language in the PR. “Pyrocumulus” and “burst out.” I hate when things just “burst out.” Like there is no cause to anything. “Well, those Antifa just burst out hitting people!”

    • There is always a cause, or spark in this actual case, Storm dear. Antifa is short for Anti-Fascist. Fascists capitalize on fear spread thru lies and propaganda. Like, “The lies just burst out of that Fox commentator’s mouth.” And mostly May everyone and their animals be safe and the winds subside.

    • Pyrocumulus is the real name for these clouds caused by wildfires. Fires literally create their own weather due to their intensity. You get them with volcanic eruptions too.

  • I’m pretty sure the 2:52 photo is NOT the column.

    But it’s a nice cloud. There’s a ton of em in the sky above the fire and into trinity.

    There are drops of rain falling on me as I speak.

  • That hit the 1,000 acre mark pretty fast, better buckle down for the long run.

    Another HUGE thanks to Kym for the great reporting.

  • What direction is the carr fire going?

  • with 299 closed people are taking Deerlick Springs Rd from 36 to cut back up to 299. Wildwood road also is seeing heavy traffic. Keep it slow fellow travelers!

  • Raining pretty good here, not to may folks at the evacuation center when I just drove by. Photo overlooking Weaverville towards fire with double rainbow (from oregon summet). Hope those folks in French creek are getting some rain too.

  • Thank you for the updates. I volunteer at Whiskeytown an d appreciate the updates.

  • Are the trinity alps safe from this fire? Og I hope so cause my daughter went on a 5 day hikeing trip there .

  • Its believed a flat tire and overheated rim on a travel trailer started this fire. If you have a trailer please check the rims, brakes, and safety chains frequently..

  • My son lives in French Gulch. People please pray that when this is all said and done that their house will still be standing and everyone will be fine.

  • My parents live on East Fork rd, Any news on homes there?

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