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Contact: Western IMT PIO Office, 253-533-1034
Contact: Western IMT PIO Office, 651-428-3008
On July 23, the Carr Fire started on Hwy 299 inside Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it likely ignited from a recreational trailer malfunction. Suppression response was immediate, with unified joint command of the National Park Service (NPS) and CalFire, with a robust, full-scale initial attack. The fire was fought aggressively utilizing hand and engine crews, bulldozers, and air attack. In spite of full suppression tactics, the fire quickly spread north out of the park, and over the next week burned in and around the park, eventually burning almost the entire park and forcing campground, inholding, local community, and National Park Service staff evacuations. The NPS is leading the investigation into the fire with significant support from the US Forest Service, and CalFire.
All park employees and residents are accounted for and safe, however fifteen employees lost their homes to the fire. Critical Incident Stress Management support is being provided for park employees and their families. Five of the houses were park residences, with the remaining ten located outside the park. A total of eleven park structures were destroyed. The park headquarters and visitor center are undamaged due to structure protection efforts from CalFire. The Oak Bottom Marina suffered significant fire damage. NPS law enforcement are conducting looting patrols and enforcing closures.
The following recovery and restoration efforts are currently in progress:
- Damage assessments of other critical park infrastructure including water plants and waste water plants, lift stations, and park generators
- Hazard assessments
- Hazard tree removal to facilitate access to key park infrastructure
- NPS, PGE, county, and CalTrans crews are working to restore access and utilities.
- Assessing the status of natural and cultural resources.
- Stabilization of critical park infrastructure.
- A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has been ordered. BAER determines the need for emergency treatments on Federal Lands to minimize threats to life or property resulting from the effects of a fire and to stabilize and prevent degradation to natural and cultural resources.