Jul 27, 2018

Carr Wildfire Crosses Sacramento River Forcing Evacuations

As winds spur on the Carr Wildfire, erosion and storm water runoff management remains a concern

Wildfires in northern California trigger erosion control concerns
Wildfires in northern California trigger erosion control concerns

The Carr Wildfire in northern California has destroyed dozens of homes, killed a bulldozer operator and forced evacuations in Redding, Calif. Believed to be started by a mechanical failure of a vehicle, the fire has burned approximately 45 sq miles and was 6% contained by Thursday evening, according to Cal Fire. Residents of Redding presumed they were safe from the fire’s flames until it jumped the Sacramento River and began moving rapidly towards the town.

With the forecast predicting a consistent 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the region throughout the week, the fire is expected to persist as high winds fuel the blazes, as reported by the Weather Channel. California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Shasta and Riverside County.

“Really we’re in a life-saving mode right now in Redding,” said Jonathan Cox, a battalion chief with Cal Fire. “We’re not fighting a fire. We’re trying to move people out of the path of it because it is now deadly, and it is now moving at speeds and in ways we have not seen before in this area.” 

The Carr fire currently is one among 88 active large wildfires across the U.S., and one of six large fires in California, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. In the wake of wildfires, storm water runoff management and erosion control will remain top of mind for northern California residents, with the devastating Montecito mudslides of January 2018 still fresh in residents’ memories. Wildfires char the landscape and leave behind brittle, non-porous soil, as well as debris that can wash into waterways in a rain event.