Firefighters are scrambling as a vegetation fire blew up quickly near Masonic Avenue in Redding which is north of the Sundial Bridge in the Sulpher Creek Hill area. Structure protection for homes on Barbara Avenue has been requested.
Redding Police tweeted around 11:05 a.m., "Evacuations orders for Barbara Rd, Pearl St. and Nancy Ct., neighborhoods north of Benton Dr, to Lake Blvd. and west of Market St due to a fast moving fire. Areas south of Benton should be prepared to evacuate."
The Incident Commander estimated over the scanner traffic at approximately 11:10 that the fire is aboout 20 acres. The fire is being called the Masonic Incident.
The area, along with a large swath of Northern California is under a Red Flag warning meaning that fires are particularly prone to spreading quickly. There are predicted to be strong winds and low humidity.
The Facebook group Fire & Traffic Information Shasta County has multiple threads addressing this critical situation. Here's one that is full of photos and videos.
UPDATE 11:50 a.m.: Flight Radar shows where a Forest Service plane is circling the area of the fire.
UPDATE 11:58 a.m.: According to the Incident Commander speaking over the scanner, the fire is now about 30 acres. Forward progress of the fire has slowed. But there are spot fires.
UPDATE 12:14 p.m.: A Redding Searchlight reporter tweeted video of a home burning on Barbara Drive:
Firefighters try to save a burning house on Barbara Drive off Benton Drive. pic.twitter.com/bGzoiJXeBS
- Damon Arthur (@damonarthur_RS) October 14, 2018
UPDATE 12:18 p.m.: Last night there were a series of fires believed to have been set in the Cottonwood area, about 30 minutes drive from today's fire. The Shasta County Sheriff's Office just released the following information:
New Series of Fires
On Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 0258 hours, a vegetation fire on Trefoil Lane just west of Balls Ferry Road was reported to Cottonwood Fire Protection District and the Shasta County Sheriff's Office. Fire personnel and patrol deputies responded to the location and the fire was quickly extinguished. Over the next couple hours, additional vegetation fires were reported along the edge of the roadways in the Cottonwood area. All of the affected roadways include:
Trefoil Lane just west of Balls Ferry Road, Cottonwood;
Cremia Place at Manzi Way (Rhonda Road), Cottonwood;
Gas Point Road west of Della Lane, Cottonwood;
Main Street south of Front Street, Cottonwood;
Yokum Road at Cinnabar Road, Cottonwood;
Locust Street north of Trefoil Lane, Cottonwood;
Balls Ferry Road at Woolery Lane, Cottonwood;
Fire Firefighters with Cottonwood Fire Protection District and CAL Fire responded and all fires were extinguished quickly. No structures were damaged by the fires and no injuries were reported.
Members of the Shasta County Arson Task Force and Shasta County Sheriff's Office, Major Crimes Unit are currently investigating these fires which are considered suspicious and believed to be set by a person or persons. Investigators and Detectives are reviewing evidence in this series of fires and comparing evidence with the previously set fires to determine any similarities. Specific details about the Cottonwood fires, correlations between all the fires and investigative efforts cannot be released for the integrity of the overall investigations.
If any residents have video surveillance in the above listed areas, please call the Shasta County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit at 530-245-6135 immediately. If anyone has specific information about who is responsible for setting any of the Cottonwood fires, they are urged to call the Shasta County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit at 530-245-6135 or email [email protected] Tips can also be left with Secret Witness at 530-243-2319 or at www.scsecretwitness.com. Up to $10,000 reward is currently be offered for information that leads to an arrest.
UPDATE 12:27 p.m.: Redding Firefighters tweeted,
#reddingfire working of vegetation fire off N. Market St. Fire is holding at 30 acres. N. Market St. and Benton Drive are closed, please avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/MYMwuvfgOJ
- Redding Firefighters (@reddingff_1934) October 14, 2018
UPDATE 12:35 p.m.: According to a report over the scanner, forward progress has been stopped.
UPDATE 4:37 p.m.: Redding Fire Department Deputy Chief Cullen Kreider tweeted at 2:32 p.m., "Shaky containment on the Masonic Fire, 38 acres, 1 structure damaged, 1 civilian minor burns. Benton Drive remains closed to thru traffic. Crews will be mopping up for several hours."
UPDATE 7:49 p.m.: Redding Police posted, "Evacuations have been lifted. Barbara Rd. Is still closed at Nancy Rd. due to fire personnel and equipment."