Last night, the City of Redding, California began evacuating residents because of a tremendously large fire moving towards the city. At the time of this writing, 38,000 residents (Redding has an official population of over 90,000) have now been said to have evacuated, 500 buildings have been destroyed, many more damaged, 2 brave and heroic firefighters have lost their lives and 3 have been injured.
(Above: Map of fires being tracked by Fire Tracker tool from SF Chronicle)
Officials and firefighters are preparing for a difficult night tonight as winds are expected to pickup and change directions, moving the fire closer into Redding. The fire is currently just 5% contained.
(Multiple “Fire Tornadoes” were reported last night as the fire moved towards Redding.)
One thing that has been incredible is seeing how people are uniting to help one another. Twitter is full of tweets from people in surrounding areas saying things like “I have a spare bed for anyone evacuating” or “I have a large fenced yard and plenty of room for you and your pets.” It’s unfortunate that it often takes crisis for us to come together, yet it is quite refreshing to see so many positive posts on social media in the face of this destructive fire.
If you would like to financially support those impacted by the fire, the Shasta County Wildfire Relief Fund has been established and you can donate here through United Way of Northern California.