Since starting on July 23, the Carr wildfire has blazed across northern California. It has killed six people and forced more than 38,000 people to evacuate their homes.
On Monday morning, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Projection (CAL FIRE) reported that the fire was 20 percent contained. It has charred more than 98,000 acres of land.
The fire was started by a vehicle’s mechanical failure about 10 miles west of the city of Redding in Shasta County, CBS News reported. The fire swept through Shasta, a historic Gold Rush town. Firefighters had been able to contain the fire for a few days until July 26, when the fire jumped across the Sacramento River and began nearing subdivisions of Redding.
Carr Fire Map
Dry vegetation and strong winds have made the fire a fearsome, relentless force. “This fire is extremely dangerous and moving with no regard for what’s in its path,” Bret Gouvea, incident commander for CAL FIRE, said, the New York Times reported.
More than 700 homes and 240 other buildings have been destroyed in its wake. Another 5,000 buildings are under threat.
Six people have been killed in the fire. Two children, aged four and five, and their grandmother were killed in Redding. Two firefighters died while battling the flames. Seven people in Shasta County are still reported missing.
As of Monday, more than 3,000 firefighters were working to extinguish the blaze.
The Carr fire is one of eight major wildfires currently burning in California.
Last year’s wildfires were among the deadliest and most expensive in California history, causing more than $12 billion in damage. This year’s fire season “could easily meet or surpass last year,” according to CAL FIRE.