CALIFORNIA—The Carr fire, which started on Monday, July 23 at 1:15 p.m. at Highway 299 and Carr Powerhouse Road has reached over 110,000 acres burnt. Officials suspect that a mechanical failure of a vehicle is the cause of the blaze. A great-grandmother and her great grandchildren died as a result of the fire. A firefighter and a bulldozer operator are also victims of the fire. According to reports, a total of 38,000 people have been evacuated, and 3,400 firefighters are currently working to contain the large fire, which is only 27 percent contained as of Tuesday, July 31.

Melody Bledsoe, and her two great grandchildren, James, 5,  and Emily Roberts, 4, died when they attempted to evacuate their home in Redding. The Washington Post reported that the two children were found under a wet blanket. Bulldozer operator, Don Ray Smith, was consumed by flames and Redding firefighter, Jeremy Stoke, died while battling to contain the fire.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the fire has destroyed 884 structures, with 2,546 structures still threatened. CAL Fire stated on its website, “Firefighters worked through the night to construct containment lines and minimize spotting across control lines. Converging East and West winds paired with steep terrain have challenged firefighting efforts. Repopulation of communites affected by evacuations will continue as conditions allow.”

Cheryl Buliavac a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said, “Today’s weather is really going to be a factor in the fire’s behavior as well as the ability to utilize our aircraft. One of the major concerns here is in the Northern area. It’s very steep, difficult terrain, a lot of timber. Also, down here in the southwest area, will be another primary focus of working to get those containment lines in.” 

Evacuation centers are available at Shasta College, Cross Point Community Church, and Foothill High School.

Written By Madison McKesson and Donald Roberts