California

Mountain Fire evacuations and road closures lifted as fire crews begin cleanup

‘A wall of flames…they were coming right at us.’ Woman describes escape from Mountain Fire

Barbara Powers, a resident of a mobile home park on Bear Mountain Road near Redding, describes Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, how she rescued her dog as she was evacuated from the Mountain Fire.
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Barbara Powers, a resident of a mobile home park on Bear Mountain Road near Redding, describes Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, how she rescued her dog as she was evacuated from the Mountain Fire.

Fire crews began cleanup Sunday on the approximately 600 acres burned by Shasta County’s Mountain Fire, which damaged or destroyed 21 structures and caused three injuries northeast of Redding.

All road closures and evacuations were lifted at 5 p.m. Saturday. The American Red Cross evacuation center at Crosspointe Community Church closed later that evening.

“It’s looking very good,” Cal Fire spokesperson Cheryl Buliavac told The Bee on Sunday.

While the area was safe enough to repopulate Saturday, Cal Fire advises caution to residents traveling in the vicinity of the affected area, as personnel are working to reconstruct damaged roads and remove smouldering materials.

More than 4,000 members of Jones Valley in the unincorporated community of Bella Vista were displaced Thursday afternoon, after a relatively small wildfire quickly doubled in size and spread across brushy terrain fueled by wind.

Of the 1,100 structures the wildfire threatened, Cal Fire reported one was destroyed Thursday. By Friday evening, seven more residential buildings and seven other structures were destroyed by the flames. Several more were damaged, according to Cal Fire.

The Mountain Fire, northeast of Redding, had burned about 600 acres by the evening of Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. More than 4,000 residents of Shasta County were evacuated, and 1,100 homes were threatened – and at least one home was destroyed.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, according to Buliavac. She said they were treated and released by medical staff.

Although the cause of the fire is still unknown, firefighters continued to make progress on the wildfire’s containment over the week end, reaching 80 percent Sunday morning.

Since Friday evening, Cal Fire has added nearly 300 crew members to aid in suppression with a bulldozer, 11 water tenders and overhead aircraft.

Power was also restored in Jones Valley, after Pacific Gas and Electric Co. cut off over 1,200 customers when the fire started Thursday, at Cal Fire’s request.

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Caroline Ghisolfi, from Stanford University, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee, focusing on breaking news and health care. She grew up in Milan, Italy.
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