Containment jumps in Shasta County fire

Posted at 6:38 AM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 11:01:23-04

ANDERSON, Calif. (AP) — UPDATE (8 AM): Containment of a small but destructive Northern California wildfire increased Friday.

The Peter Fire in Shasta County south of Redding remained at 304 acres (123 hectares) but containment jumped to 34% overnight, up from 25%.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire erupted shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday and destroyed 12 structures before its forward progress was stopped.

The Redding Record Searchlight newspaper reported that at least three of the structures were homes.

In the Sierra Nevada, a wildfire that began July 7 in Yosemite National Park continued to move eastward along the south fork of the Merced River into the Sierra National Forest.

The 7.3-square-mile (18.9-square-kilometer) Washburn Fire was 27% contained Friday.

Challenging terrain and weather hampered firefighters in Northern California as a blaze grew quickly Thursday afternoon, forcing evacuations as the flames destroyed homes, scorched vegetation and threatened a tortoise sanctuary, authorities said.

The blaze broke out around mid-afternoon in Shasta County, just south of Redding, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

The fire quickly grew to 304 acres (123 hectares), Cal Fire said. The Redding Record Searchlight newspaper reported that at least three homes burned. The blaze was 25% contained shortly before 8:30 p.m.

Cal Fire reported Thursday night that 12 structures had been destroyed, though it was not immediately clear how many were residences.

Firefighters aggressively attacked the blaze from the ground and the air, Cal Fire said in a news release, and crews will work overnight to strengthen containment lines and mop up around structures.

An evacuation center was set up at a high school in Anderson, home to about 11,000 residents. Officials didn't immediately say how many people were under evacuation orders.

Flames briefly threatened Tortoise Acres, a sanctuary dedicated to turtles and tortoises in Anderson, co-owner Katie Hoffman told the San Francisco Chronicle. Hoffman said she managed to evacuate with her horses before receiving word that the property was spared, with the only damage some singed fencing.

The cause of the Peter Fire was under investigation.

Meanwhile, California firefighters continued to battle a wildfire in Yosemite National Park. The blaze on the western flank of the Sierra Nevada had scorched about 6.8 square miles (17.6 square kilometers) but was 23% contained as of Thursday, according to an incident update.

The Washburn Fire had threatened a grove of giant sequoias before starting to burn eastward into the Sierra National Forest on Wednesday.


Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.