Salt Fire near Redding destroys 27 homes and 14 outbuildings: updates Saturday

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Firefighters continue to work on the salt fire, while a damage assessment team over the weekend got a fuller picture of the destruction caused by the blaze as it rushed through a neighborhood to the south from Lakehead.

The Salt Fire began to burn east of Interstate 5, near the Salt Creek exit, about 25 miles north of Redding. The first call regarding the fire was reported at 1:41 p.m. Wednesday and immediately forced the temporary closure of the highway and the evacuation of residents from neighboring neighborhoods.

The number of acres was higher on Saturday, but the growth rate was slower compared to Wednesday and Thursday. The fire continues to progress north, officials from Shasta-Trinity National Forest said.

Check back on this story for updates.

2.15 p.m .: Some residents can return home

Firefighters said that starting at noon Saturday, residents of the following areas of Lakehead can return home:

  • Areas east of I-5, from the north end of Riverview Drive to the south end of Antlers Road. Traffic control points at these locations are removed.

11:20 am: 27 houses, 14 houses destroyed in Salt Fire

Forest Service officials announced on Saturday that around 41 structures were destroyed in the salt fire.

This number represents 27 dwellings and 14 outbuildings. Four other outbuildings were damaged.

Homes and other buildings on the Gregory Creek Acres Subdivision were reduced to ashes as cars and vans were burned by the salt fire that began on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, south of Lakehead.

“We are working closely with Shasta County to provide more information to residents as it becomes available,” firefighters said Saturday morning.

The salt fire has moved through Campbell Creek and into the Crane Mountain area as firefighters take Forest Service Road 34N17 to stop the fire from spreading. Officials added that structural protection teams were working on the east side.

9:30 am: Salt Fire near Lakehead extends to 7,467 acres; always at 5% containment

The burning salt fire near Lakehead reached 7,467 acres overnight and remained within 5% containment, officials from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest said Saturday morning.

As of Friday, the blaze reached 5,043 acres with 5% containment as the blaze continued to progress north.

Firefighters clean up along Interstate 5 on Friday, July 2, 2021, to secure control lines during the Salt Fire.

Evacuation orders and warnings remain in place, officials said.

On Saturday, teams plan to prioritize protecting structures, especially north and west of Gilman Road and around Salt Creek.

“Other priorities include protecting private forests in the fire zone and maintaining the I-5 corridor,” officials said.

Nearly 500 people were affected by the blaze.

The map shows the perimeter of the salt fire as of Saturday morning July 3, 2021.

Investigators seek public assistance

Meanwhile, investigators on Thursday asked for the public’s help in locating a vehicle they believe may have started the fire but did not have a description on the car.

According to the US Forest Service, this vehicle on Wednesday afternoon was on Interstate 5 in the slow right lane just after exiting Gilman Road when extremely hot pieces exited the vehicle and landed in the dry vegetation, triggering the fire.

Two crew transport vehicles for inmate firefighters at Sugar Pine Conservation Camp in Bella Vista wait on the remote shore of Shasta Lake in Lakehead as the salt fire burns in the distance on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

“At around 1:30 p.m., other motorists started calling 911 to report the forest fire,” forest service officials said. “Investigators are trying to locate this vehicle before it causes another fire. If anyone has observed broken down vehicles or abnormally slow vehicles moving north along I-5 in the area of Lakehead Wednesday, June 30, 1 to 1:30 p.m., please contact Forest Service Investigations at 530-226-2783. “

Teams Thursday night reinforced the lines on the west side of the blaze. Firefighters had planned to stop the spread of the blaze by securing the western edge along the Interstate 5 corridor on Friday.

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“They will also work on constructing a containment line, both directly along the edge of the fire and further (indirectly), to reduce additional threats to property and structures,” the officials said. firefighters. “Firefighters will also be working in communities adjacent to the blaze.”

The wildfire is among 15 fires burning in California, more than half of which are in northern California, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The salt fire destroyed at least a dozen homes, garages and other outbuildings off Herman Way and Zola Drive in the Gregory Creek Acres subdivision off Gregory Creek Road.

Forest Service spokeswoman Adrienne Freeman said a team will assess the damage in the fire area to determine the total number of houses and other buildings destroyed.

Evacuation orders, road closures

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation warning Thursday afternoon for Delta School Road, Delta Road and west of I-5, from the south end of Lakeshore Drive to the north end from Lakeshore Drive.

Previous evacuation orders and warnings were still in effect. An evacuation center is located at Central Valley High School in the town of Shasta Lake.

Residents of Gregory Creek Road should take shelter in place or travel to Gregory Creek Beach, officials said.

A tanker drops the retarder on the Salt Fire on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

The areas still subject to mandatory evacuation orders were:

  • Fenders Ferry Road between I-5 and Gilman Road
  • Lakehead area east of I-5 from Antlers Road to Riverview Drive
  • Antlers View Road
  • Toms Head Road
  • Route of the Old Mill
  • Zola Drive
  • Cordes Court
  • Solus campsite path
  • East of I-5, Antlers Road to Riverview Drive

Road closures

  • Fenders Ferry Road to Dog Creek Road
  • Gilman Road on top of the hill
  • Riverview Drive to I-5 access and exit ramp and Lakeshore Drive to I-5 access ramp

Other fires in the northern state

Elsewhere, the largest fire in Northern California is the lava fire which partly burns on the slopes of Mt. Shasta northeast of Weed in Siskiyou County.

The lava blaze was 26% contained on Saturday after burning 24,460 acres, officials said. The lightning blaze forced several thousand people out of their homes, but many were allowed to return late Thursday.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said that on Wednesday 14 people were arrested for entering and refusing to leave the Lava Fire evacuation area in and around the Mount Shasta Vista Subdivision.

A man who was arrested used a vehicle to push a Siskiyou County employee before crossing a roadblock.

The Mount Shasta Vista Subdivision is known for its network of marijuana farms run primarily by Hmong and Chinese families.

To the northeast, the Tennant fire in the Klamath National Forest had burned five buildings, including two houses, and threatened several hundred more. It increased slightly from Friday to Saturday to reach 10,012 acres with a containment of 17%.

Cleanup began on the western flank while the eastern side remained active. Evacuation orders and warnings continued in neighboring areas.

The lava, salt and Tennant fires were the largest among more than a dozen wildfires that erupted last week amid the hot and dry conditions usually seen in August, fire officials said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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