Critical Fire Conditions Expected for Tomorrow But Containment Lines Growing on the Carr Fire

Fire glowing above Igo and as dozer piloted by a Humboldt County crew from Paula and Sons Earthworks rests

Fire glowing above Igo and as dozer piloted by a Humboldt County crew from Paula and Sons Earthworks rests after clearing lines to stop the Carr Fire from moving south.[Photo by Brian Paula]Though the Carr Fire continues to grow (relatively slowly) many of those evacuated have been able to return home. The residents of Lewiston and Igo area were allowed home last night.

The Carr Fire now has claimed 173,522 acres by Cal Fire’s estimate and it is only 47% contained after starting July 23.

According to the Northern California Geographic Coordination Center, “1,077 residences have been destroyed and 191 residences have been damaged; 500 outbuildings are destroyed…Mandatory evacuations are still in place for 3,600 civilians.

Tomorrow, the weather conditions again are approaching critical.

Fire weather watch graphic

Graphic from the National Weather Service.

For more on evacuations and road closures, go here.

The Plan: 

Silas Paula on top of his family's heavy equipment as the crews plan their routes.

Silas Paula sits on top of his family’s heavy equipment as the crews plan their routes. [Photo by Brian Paula]

Firefighters are continuing to mop up around the City of Redding (Branch I). Crews could see some problems but as a whole, they have a good handle on this.

Branch II, the southwest of the fire: Containment lines continue to grow here. And dozer lines are ahead of the fire waiting to stop it from spreading much further. However, firefighters will need to watch afternoon winds for roll-outs and spotting across those containment lines.

Dozer lines provide wide swaths of empty land that the Carr Fire will have to struggle to cross.Dozer lines provide wide swaths of empty land that the Carr Fire will have to struggle to cross.

Dozer lines provide wide swaths of empty land that the Carr Fire will have to struggle to cross. [Photo by Brian Paula]

Branch III, the west end of the fire: Containment is solid east of Lewiston. Firefighters will be working to keep the afternoon winds from pushing past them, but, as a whole, the lines are solid. There’s some push by the fire past dozer lines in the upper part of this branch in Divisions H and I towards Trinity Lake that firefighters will try to grapple with today.

Dozer crews work through the night to protect the town of Igo.

Dozer crews work through the night to protect the town of Igo. [Photo by Brian Paula]

Branch IV, the north side of the fire: The north of the fire pushed past dozer lines and firefighters will have to deal with winds from the south and west today. Spot fires pushing across already established lines are also a problem.

The Weather: 

According to Cal Fire, “Today will mark the start of a transition period as we move from stagnant smokey conditions to a breezy pattern with less smoke hanging in the valleys and more sun reaching the surface fuels. Increased winds from the south will also be present as we move into the evening and overnight hours especially on ridges.”

Expect temperatures in the high nineties up to 104 degrees. Humidity will drop to 8 to 17%.

Due to the expected critical conditions, a Fire Weather Watch has been issued from Thursday Afternoon to Saturday Evening.

The Roads:

Crews labor to fix damage to Hwy 299 near Whiskeytown.

Crews labor to fix damage to Hwy 299 near Whiskeytown. [Photo from Caltrans District 2]

Highway 299, the major east-west route for northern California, remains closed in both directions. Yesterday, Caltrans posted,

Please note, as we have been saying it lately, the priority now is to get people back into their homes and for that purpose, SR299 is now open to ***RESIDENTS of Old Shasta ONLY*** with proper identification.

The closure technically continues at SR299 and Buenaventura in Redding, but it is open to residents only as the authorities determine and announce what communities are being repopulated.

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

The MAPS:

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