Triple-digit temperatures, extremely low humidity, and gusty winds intensified overnight Thursday tripling the Carr Fire to 45 square miles, reports the Review-Journal. Dozens of homes have burned in the communities of Shasta, Keswick, and the west side of Redding, a city of about 92,000 people.
The situation is chaotic as Redding residents received little warning and were scrambling to evacuate. Firefighters tried in vain to build containment around the blaze Thursday but flames kept jumping their lines. Wildfires throughout the state burning through tinder-dry brush and forest have forced thousands to evacuate homes and forced campers and RVers to pack up and leave at the height of summer.
With flames exploding around Whiskeytown Lake, efforts to save boats at a marina by untying them from moorings and pushing them to safety could not spare them all. Dozens of charred, twisted and melted boats were among the losses at Oak Bottom Marina.
“The only buildings left standing … right now are the fire station and a couple of restrooms,” said Fire Chief Mike Hebrard of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
In the historic Gold Rush-era town of Shasta, state parks employees worked through the early morning to rescue artifacts from a museum as the blaze advanced.