One year ago, on July 23, 2018, the Carr Fire devastated Shasta and Trinity Counties, killing eight people, destroying 1,077 homes and burning 229,651 acres before it ended on Aug. 30, 2018.
National Park Service [NPS] officials said the fire was accidentally sparked by a "recreational trailer malfunction," near Whiskeytown Lake, an area operated by the NPS and about five miles west of Redding.
Eight people lost their lives to the Carr fire. Their names are listed below:
- Don Smith: An 81-year-old contract bulldozer operator who died while helping to build a fire line in the North part of the town of Shasta.
- Daniel Bush: The family of 62-year-old Bush told the Redding Record-Searchlight that he might have survived if roadblocks had not kept them from getting to him.
- Melody Bledsoe, 70, died in her mobile home along with her great-grandkids James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4. The three spent their final moments on the phone with Melody’s husband Ed Bledsoe, who attributed their deaths to the quickness of the fire. He’d driven to town for an errand and was only gone a matter of minutes when he learned the fire had made a run for his house.
- Jeremy Stoke: a Redding City firefighter who had cut his own vacation four days short, volunteering to help when the Carr Fire started to force his neighbors around Redding to evacuate. Later that night, he died in the line of duty.
- Jairus Ayeta: The 21-year-old lineman apprentice for PG&E died in a vehicle-related accident on the western edge of the Carr Fire in Shasta county. He was part of a PG&E crew working in dangerous terrain according to utility spokeswoman Melissa Subbotin.
- Andrew Brake: The 40-year-old Cal Fire veteran was a heavy equipment mechanic assigned to the Carr Fire. He was on his way to the Carr Fire when he was killed in a collision on Highway 99 near Tehama Vina Road.
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It has only been 365 days since the Carr Fire started, and there is still a long way to go before the area can consider itself "back to normal." The links listed below will help survivors and business owners connect with resources.
- 211 Norcal: This website has updated information about upcoming events and ongoing resources for survivors. Resource information includes financial assistance, tax relief, legal assistance housing and insurance assistance.
- City of Redding: Click to learn more about the rebuilding process, building codes, hazard tree removal and other items listed by the City as rebuilding continues.
- FEMA: Links for information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- Shasta County Health and Human Services
- Redding area social services and charities
- Red Cross evacuation tips
The series breaks down California’s wildfire crisis into three episodes, we expose the reasons wildfires are deadlier than ever, how PG&E influences our politics despite felony convictions and being blamed for starting fires that killed 107 people, and what it’ll cost to pay for the damage and make California safer from fire.