The Carr Fire: 131,896 Acres and Growing [Maps]

DC-10 dropping retardant on the hills above Lewiston in Trinity County.

DC-10 dropping retardant on the hills above Lewiston in Trinity County. [Photo by Joaquin Hale‎]

The Carr Fire which exploded July 23 is now the 6th most destructive in Californa history, according to Cal Fire, and the largest of the many fires burning across the state today. With a Red Flag warning in effect, it is likely to grow past its current 131,896 acres. Containment is only 39% after more than a week of battling.

Wildfires most destructive

[Graphic from Cal Fire]

The deadly fire, there are six victims, continues to threaten Lewiston, Igo, Ono, and Gas Point as well as major power lines and the Iron Mountain Mine Superfund site.

All of the most destructive wildfires in California history have occurred since 1991. Half of the top ten have occurred since 2015. In a press conference Wednesday, Governor Jerry Brown called the increasing number and severity of the blazes, “the new normal.”

Some of the Carr Fire damage was caused by tornado-like winds that were created by the wildfire as it grew. Below is a graphic that shows that explains what is believed to have happened.

Fire whirl NWS Sacramento

[Graphic from the National Weather Service in Sacramento]

The Plan: 

BAe-146 and a smaller plane battling the Carr Fire in the hills above Lewiston.

BAe-146 and a smaller plane battling the Carr Fire in the hills above Lewiston. [Photo by Joaquin Hale‎]

Firefighters are mopping up around the City of Redding (Branch I). Barring the unexpected, the fire should be nearly gone in this area.

Branch II, the southwest of the fire: According to Cal Fire, winds from the north in the evening and after dark may cause large growth overnight. But, firefighters may be able to do backburning in the daytime to control the direction and spread of the flames.

Branch III, the west end of the fire: “Low relative humidity and an unstable atmosphere have increased fire behavior,” according to Cal Fire. Residents around Lewiston were concerned by large columns of smoke and increased air attacks. Firefighters were doing backburns and aircraft were strengthening dozer lines by dropping retardant in the area as the Carr Fire backed down towards the town.

The Carr Fire from Lewiston Late Yesterday:


Branch IV, the north side of the fire: Like yesterday, firefighters are concerned about torching in the trees and fire running from treetop to treetop.

The Weather: 

Red Flag warning map

[Graphic from the National Weather Service in Sacramento]

Red Flag weather conditions with winds from the north-northwest and low humidity will have firefighters struggling to keep spotting and torching from spreading this deadly fire. Temperatures will be in the nineties and even higher in areas. Winds from the north will start early gusting up to 30 mph and then could push the flames quickly up drainages in the afternoon. The dangerous conditions will last through Saturday evening.

Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane fighting the Carr Fire.

Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane was fighting the Carr Fire under clear skies yesterday. [Photo by Joaquin Hale‎]

Both last night and today

Expect hazy conditions around the fire especially to the east but the area to the west over Lewiston could be clear.

The Roads:

The Carr Fire swept over Hwy 299 leaving damage behind.

The Carr Fire swept over Hwy 299 leaving damage behind. [Photo from Caltrans District 2]

Highway 299, the major east-west route, remains closed in both directions. Caltrans District 2 reported August 1 that they do not know when 299 will reopen. Not only is the roadway currently under the jurisdiction of fire authorities but, even after Caltrans regains control repair and full opening could take months.

For more on roads in the area, see this Cal Fire site.


  • Operations Map –to see details either zoom or click on the map and download a pdf.
    Carr Fire Operations Map

    Carr Fire Operations Map

  • KMZ Map–Zoom for detail or for 3D imagery, click on the map and download a file that connects with your Google Earth program.
    Carr Fire Heat Map

    Carr Fire Heat Map


  • Northcoast Horticulture Supply is working with Pay It Forward Humboldt to collect donations for the Carr fire.

McKinleyville 1580 Nursery Way

Arcata 639 6th St

Eureka 852 W Wabash Ave

Fortuna 126 Dinsmore Dr

Note: “Pay It Forward Humboldt has asked us to collect gift cards and N95 respiratory masks only at this time. We’ve tried to be specific about what’s needed at this point in time in our social media because folks tend to drop off random and sometimes heavy items that are not useful until folks can set up temporary housing.  Once they have the donation centers set up over the next days/weeks, they will be accepting clothes, household donations and larger items.”


Redwood Acres Fairground is accepting evacuees for free camping.

Earlier Chapters:



  • I agree about the destructiveness of wild fires recently which is simply because there has been a continuing construction boom in areas that were unihabited wild areas. More houses and businesses equates to more “destructiveness.” And more opportunities for fires to start.

    The amount of building in California has turned the State from mostly wilderness to mostly housing in my lifetime. Miles and miles of summer brown grasslands, mountains and ag lands have become miles and miles of closely spaced houses and shopping centers.

    • The elephant in the room. People move into wilderness and build roads and sewers and power lines and houses, and then freak out because a bear walks though ‘their’ yard. Sometimes I think WE are the stupidest of all animals.

      • There’s a bigger, more profitable elephant in this room.
        Very few people understood the causal factors leading up to the housing collapse in 2008, but there were large number of industry insiders moving and shaking down that money tree.
        To that point, the privatization of disaster related agencies makes a difference when a super tanker delayed response creates a situation where the costs skyrocket. …and who is left holding the bill?
        Doesn’t take too much to realize that there’s prof it to be made in them (burning) hills.

        ““There are no work guarantees.” But for all the risks associated with contracting wildfire management — both to taxpayer dollars and the private contractors themselves — companies are continuing to find new, profitable niches in the business of disaster.”

    • “The amount of building in California has turned the State from mostly wilderness to mostly housing in my lifetime. ”

      We take then you are writing from 2098 and are 180 years old. Or could you be exaggerating in order to ignore the impacts of climate change?

      • The population of California in 1950- 10,586,223. The population in 2017 is 39,536,653. All those addition people live somewhere. And yes, in my lifetime, what was ranch land or orchards or wild places changed to houses, shopping centers and roads from Santa Rosa straight down the coast. No exaggeration at all.

        You may prefer to ignore that in preference to your own agenda but all those additional people live somewhere. And that “somewhere” tends to be flammable subdivisions where the houses are pretty close together. It is disingenuous to assign some political agenda to what is simply numbers. “Destructiveness” of a fire counts up structures burned in it’s definition so more houses to be burned means more destruction.

        In a way, I feel sorry for younger people who have so little experience of being alone in the wild. Oh what they don’t know. They think that hiking a trail where they might see only a couple of other cars at a trailhead is experiencing nature and passing just a fellow hiker or two is being alone. But it’s not. Going across county, on a game trail at best, following a river while seeing wildlife in numbers everywhere and never coming across another human or their litter in the whole time you’re out while still being close to a town, maybe not even seeing another car on a highway for hours. Or being the only person on a beach all day. Or even standing in your yard a home in clouds of butterflies. Things that don’t happen anymore. Well, maybe in some parts of Alaska. And I’m sure that people older than I am knew even more solitude if they wanted it.

    • Ummmm, you couldn’t be farther off-base if you tried! It is the LACK of man in the forest, which is causing all the fires to burn out of control. Letting the dead and diseased tree to lay and rot, not thinning out the underbrush, and letting things go total natural is what has gotten us here today. Not the development of the land by man!

      • Amen, nature loving hippies with chainsaws… it needs to be a thing

      • First the term “destructiveness” as used by Jerry Brown, means the value of what is destroyed in a fire. The value is totalled up by counting housing, buildings, infrastructure, etc damage. So when a fire burns up buildings, it is considered more destructive than it it burns up forest or brush. If you don’t like the definition, talk to Brown. But certainly the fact that there are more houses to be burned means that there is increased “destructiveness” in current fires. By definition. It has little to do with fuel load in the woods.

        • In a monetized world everything has a “value”. Timber is included in those sums.

          • Yes but the value of standing timber is less than a building in that computation. After all that idea is what allows TPZ to pay a much, much, much smaller property tax. Although this now has the feeling of arguing for the sake of arguing. It was just about the legal definition of the word “destructiveness” as used by the govenor, not the esthetics of it.

    • And if some unattentive driver didn’t notice he had a shredded tire on a trailer long enough to grind the road and spark a fire, we wouldn’t be talking about this and how it’s caused six deaths and maybe more.

      • I blame the lack of foresight — the area is unprepared for the reality of fire… The brush should have been cleared or backburned next to the road, that way the spark never could ignite anything…

        • This has happened how many times on 299 in the last few years? Sparks from chains and rims only travel so far, seems like a bit more effort relating to roadside vegetation would go a long way and save a lot of labor and life. It’s one of the few variables we can control to some degree. I know Caltrans does mowing and roadside maintenance, maybe we need several treatments per season. We did a least 3 passes with the weedwhackers this year on our property.

          • There’s no money for the disaster capitalists, if there’s no disaster to capitalize on.

            • So tru…

              Just think of the billions of wasted dollars spent on this jucstaposed with the folks who lost their lives or their homes…

              Just kill the vegetation next to the roads and cut some preventative dozer lines on Nat. Forest land…

              They call it “fragmentation” and I call BS…

          • That is just like maintaining the roads themselves. It’s a place that governments from counties through the nation have shorted spending to fund other objectives. They can get away with it for awhile but sooner or later the money must be spent. Only by then the deterioration means a lot more cost.

            Maybe this happens because most politicians are riddled with ambition. They succeed not by showing the voter that they filled the potholes but that they got a new program or an expanded plan passed. This is of course the fault of the voter, who doesn’t appreciate what he has until it causes him problems.

  • We have to have someplace for the UNDOCUMENTED Citizens to live, WOW that could even be worded political correct, like I care.


    Great read about the extreme fire conditions becoming known as the fire tornado. 143mph winds and a vortex for an hour and a half.

    Without the fire, it would be California’s strongest tornado. Amazing.

  • Thank you Kym. Is there any more information about the iron mountain mine site? I am very concerned that the #carrfire burned through there!!!

    I just read this article

    Everyone needs to know, Iron Mountain Mine is a federal Superfund site with high concentrations of heavy metals. They publicize it as acidity and I feel that is down playing the real risks here. I’m wondering if you can do any research about the risk to the public or environment associated with containment failure (on the ground or in the air)(now or in the future) due to the pipeline fire or crirical infrastructure loss caused by the fire?

    The city of #Redding municipal water is drawn from down stream of this watershed… So what happens when it rains again? And, I can’t help but cringe thinking about what was released into the air during the pipeline fire. ewwwwww!

    The public needs to know! Air and water pollution are silent kilers. Just ask the residents Flint Michigan.

    Thanks again Kym for all of your amazing work!

  • Excellent fire coverage. The best I’ve found.

  • Reading some comments here, and far too many on “that other blog,” I wonder how many Russian Bots actually live/work in Humboldt County. The constant emphasis on division, the use of foul and gutter language, the lack of compassion and understanding that we’re all human perfuse their writing. Instead, most of us are wonderful human beings, and none of us (including the most miserable trolls) deserve the degraded life that this kind of behavior will bring.

    The only place this stops is within ourselves.

    Heya, crankies, trolls, bots, angries, and troglyodytes… take a shower, go outside, smell some flowers, watch a hummingbird and lose your phone for a day – see if you feel better.

  • Thank you for this comprehensive overview

  • Growing but continueing to be contained?????? Hmmmm

  • #Bradyfire, North of Hayfork.

    Official new start. I went for a view but was obscured by smoke.

    It seems to be WAY north of Hayfork and not an immediate threat to town.

    *If I was to take a guess it would be in the general vicinity of Hayfork Bally…

    But, if anyone hears more Id love to know it. I too, am north of Hayfork.

    • Looks like this fire was contained at under 1/2 acre according to a coworker that uses facebook. No further info on the location other than north of hayfork.

  • DuallyDodgeFrms

    Shouldn’t our Sheriff’s be helping them instead of destroying our economy

  • Carrfire fronts in Trinity are exploding again. Plumes above 10k feet.

  • Pic a 6:00pm

  • Another pic from 299/ Oregon summit at around 7pm.
    Power out in Weaverville again. The wind is pretty gusty up high, blowing toward the east. The heat maps show most of the activity near Lewiston inside last night’s IR fire perimeter, so hopefully it’s consuming fuels and not breaching containment lines. The stuff to the north by the Trinity dam / Papoose drainage is blowing up pretty good, seems to be moving north east. I see lots of aircraft still up. For some reason the pic is rotated, at least on my phone?

    • Erik, I always have to turn my camera sideways on photos for it to come out vertical on Kyms site. I’ve learned that through trial and error, see if that does it.

      Both plumes are active and it seemed, from my far view, that the Lewiston front was mostly “lined”.

      Both plumes are still active though a bit smaller. It’s amazing how much of a full view this fire takes up.

      Is there a story about PGE holding out on Trinity Co. because we voted TPUD as sole energy source? I’ve been limited by internet connectivity to research..

      Good luck fire crews.

      • Not holding out, tpud owns and maintains those lines

        • I had heard that TPUD asked for PGE assistance a week ago during first outage but was denied.

          • Maybe so, but I doubt it is a grudge. PGE’s main asset is transmission lines not power production. They have their whole infrastructure to maintain.

            • Power production? More like dirty electricity. The 21st century and the world, by-n-large, is still under a spell that energy can be produced -or generated. IFF the energy vampires stopped straddling California’s rivers, destroying one of the two dipoles (of the magnetic field) as it circles thru their dim, dam, dum, “generators” -imagine . . . the motion and movement of the rivers flowing on their own down the state could be utilized in much more productive manner, with out the name game.

              PG&E has pretty much done the bow out of responsibility escape. Can’t even maintain the lines (sounds like road maintenance in HumCo), Notice on your 4-5 page statement a little ditty about calling 911 to report outage.

              The only true currency in the world is labor. The slave master puppets’ main asset is YOU and ME.

      • No one seems to know why the power went out, it’s supposed to be back on in a couple hours, something tripped somewhere is one answer. I did have my phone on the side, maybe it was upside down, lol. Here is a shot of erikson sikorsky skycrane landing at the weaverville airport for the night. The crew gave her a bath before putting her to bed. Hopefully the pic is right side up 🙂 I think pg&e was not to happy about our choice of public power. Right now we are tied into the coastal grid until the 3 pylons that got mangled in the fire are rebuilt and the fire is put to bed, we were running entirely off the hydro at the dam last weekend until we connected to the coast last Monday. I don’t think this has happened until now, I’m really curious how all this works. I like the idea that trinity can potentially produce its power locally.

        • Good job on navigating the pic posting process! Nice shot too.

          Did you go back to Bally for last night view, how was it?

          Seemed like it would be a good night for it..

          • No, haven’t gone back up yet, trying to talk the wife into it, I want to take my better camera with better low light processing.

  • Ya, saw a HUGE plume @ 7pm from South Fork Mtn, total blow up tonight

  • the biomass burned in this hellfire could have powered weaverville for a century…. sad

  • Keep the air crew and dozer pics coming! I saw a few dozers out I think connecting the county line rd into deerlick springs dirt road. Can fire lines be turned into roads? deerlick springs rd to county line road would be one hell of a nice shortcut to redding for me.

    • If your lucky you’ll get a week of use, likely not desired, but after that they’ll cover it with trees and waterbars that’ll challenge even the most determined people…

  • Due to this site showing both the photographs and maps, I certainly feel the impact of these fires more than the typical one time news stories available other places. Which understanding is much appreciated even if disturbing.

    • And Costco opened their doors to all, not just members.

      If you havnt yet Redding, go save some big money on cheese; 2.5 lbs Tillamook cheddar for 8.99

      No beating it…

      • Yep, the cheese run to Costco is a mandatory monthly ritual. And organic chicken, and nuts, and bison, and beer, and, well you get the picture. Although we have been buying meat from a lady at the farmers market, it’s excellent. And we get our veggies local, both from farmers mkt. and mountain marketplace. Don’t really get too excited about holiday market, it’s convenient, and they have a generator which has been awesome latley, but some stuff is like 50% less in redding. At this point it’s probably just a fast to go to eureka and cool off and see some friends. Looks like it is going to be a long while before 299 is open, the fire information officer at the post office said Caltrans is talking 1 -2 months after control is returned to them. btw, power is back on in the ville.

      • Two pound blocks of excellent quality, relatively local (Rumiano brand, I believe from Crescent City) cheese is regularly priced at about $3.50/lb at the Arcata coop.

  • 10:30 am Saturday August 4, 2018
    Re: the Global Supertanker Boeing 747

    Bryan Cox 20 hours ago
    No need for this on the Carr fire as it burns historic locations like Lewiston?????????

    Fred Jones 10 months ago
    Not allowed to drop on Forest Service fire?????? Which IDIOT decided that?

    D McNamara 10 months ago
    It’s a Cal Fire Project….strictly political…..Federal lands don’t get the benefits unless they pay….and yes with already Federally supported funds to Cali.

    Mr SS 7 months ago
    Bud Dawkins 747 have a safe flying record

    Outdoorsguy 1 month ago
    D McNamara “strictly political”? Forests and homes are burning down and they want to play politics? SMH…

    Madam Mortified 23 hours ago

    GAS TAX WENT UP TO FUND: SCAG (SoCal Ass of Govs)

    CA Citizen at a Public Meeting Reveals a Network of Remote Video Boardrooms with Single “Zombie” Operators, Like a Disturbing Scene out of a Sci-Fi Movie planning over trillion dollar projects with no public input and only one person/agent per county sitting in empty board room, epic waste at its best in Calif!


  • Plume rising and falling on the section near lewiston, wind blowing to the east. The north and south part looks pretty calm comparatively speaking.
    Siller N4035S Sikorsky on takeoff after refueling.

  • I can hear the thump of the sikorskys echo down the canyons from 3+ miles away

  • New evacuation orders for French Gulch.

    French Gulch was evacuated long ago, but some stayed. The fire is turning back and heading there now.

  • Power out in trinity, lots of aircraft up even this late, plumes are now more dispersed. Supposedly the fire is within containment lines near lewiston. Possible fire 2 miles up 2 canyon creek, no details.

    • Canyon creek fire start out. Retardant was dropped on a high tension power pole up near the trinity dam which caused a flashover. Apparently they are going to test the line and come back online soon, if the test fails than someone has to go up and pressure wash the insulators on the pole in the fire in the dark, lol. So the power should be back on before noon tomorrow worst case. May you live in interesting times.

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