More evacuations ordered for Shasta County as at least five fires burn

A strike team works on the Creek Fire in Shasta County.
A strike team works on the Creek Fire in Shasta County.

More evacuations have been ordered in Shasta County as fire crews work to contain at least five active fires in the area that had burned a total of more than 1,000 acres just west of Redding by Sunday evening, according to Cal Fire.

Shasta County Sheriff's Department tweeted multiple updates Sunday night listing new evacuation areas. Cal Fire recommends following @ShastaSheriff on Twitter for up-to-date information.

The fires were 20 percent contained by 6:30 p.m., and were threatening 30 to 40 structures as of 4 p.m., according to battalion chief J.P. Zulliger, a Cal Fire spokesperson.

The Red Cross has opened an evacuation center at West Valley High School on 3805 Happy Valley Rd. in Cottonwood for people affected by the evacuation orders, with volunteers on-hand to provide snacks, drinks and comfort.

Cal Fire has worked with the Redding Fire Department to contain the fire, along with numerous other fire agencies, said Zulliger. CHP is assisting with road closures and sheriff's deputies are assisting with evacuations, he said.

Three strike teams consisting of crews from the City of Sacramento, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, Folsom, Cosumnes, West Sacramento and Sutter County were also sent to assist in containing the Shasta fires, said Capt. Chris Vestal, Metro Fire spokesperson.

Two of the strike teams were type III, which are specifically used to fight vegetation fires, and the other was type I, which specializes in structural fires, Vestal said. Each strike team typically consists of five engines with four crew members per engine, a strike team leader and a strike team leader trainee, said Vestal.

At about 2 p.m. on Sunday, Cal Fire tweeted that fire crews were battling multiple fires totaling 100 acres just west of Redding off Clear Creek and American roads in Shasta County. Less than a half-hour later, Cal Fire tweeted that the total acreage had grown to 300 acres. The hot, dry north winds are exacerbating the situation, Zulliger said, adding that fire resources will likely be committed to the area for the next couple of days.

The area currently has a National Weather Service Red Flag Warning in effect, which means high heat, low humidity, strong winds and conditions that exacerbate the risk of fire, said Lynnette Round, a Cal Fire spokesperson.

Northern California has been experiencing this kind of weather for the past couple days, Round said. Everyone should always be aware of weather conditions in their area, Round said, and advised people to look out for any evacuation orders when there is a fire nearby and to follow any orders they receive immediately. She said sometimes people wait too long to leave.

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