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Q&A: Around 4,000 Residents North Of Redding Evacuated As The Fawn Fire Continues To Grow

Cal Fire
Numerous ground and air resources are currently at the scene of the Fawn Fire.

The Fawn Fire, burning near the city of Shasta Lake, has reached around 1,200 acres since it started Wednesday afternoon. According to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, around 4,000 residents have been evacuated in areas north of Redding. The Sheriff’s Office reported Thursday afternoon that structures have been lost, but it is not yet known how many were lost or where they were located.

NSPR's Adia White talked with Cal Fire Public Information Officer Robert Foxworthy Thursday afternoon to learn more about weather conditions and the fire’s behavior.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity

On current weather conditions

Fuel conditions are very dry, as well as long-term drought conditions. So the fire is burning intensely. We have a northerly wind pushing the fire in a south to southwest direction (as of Thursday afternoon). We've seen pretty decent movement of the fire and we're getting a considerable amount of spot fires. So intense fire behavior is how I would describe it.

It sounds like these winds are expected to lighten up a bit then switch to our diurnal pattern - that's where we have those up-canyons (winds) in the day and down canyon (winds) at night. So we're expecting those winds to start funneling back down canyon. It doesn't sound like we're expecting the winds to be quite as intense as they were Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

On the cause of the fire

It was determined that the fire was an arson-caused fire.

Editor's note: Cal Fire says a woman was found near where the fire started and the agency believes she may be responsible. She has been arrested and taken to Shasta County Jail. 

On what residents in the area should do to prepare

If you're in an area that receives a warning, basically that's your time to be warned and to start getting ready. When you're asked to leave, and that warning is upgraded to an order, then it's time to go. If you're in a warning area, be ready, start getting packed. And those areas that border those warning areas, be ready too.

On the threat the fire poses to nearby communities

It's hard to predict what's to be expected. Our crews are out there, and life, safety, and the protection of property are their top priorities. The crews are out there diligently working to try and have the least amount (of) possible structural damage. We have a large number of crews out on the scene at this point and we will have even more crews and orders coming in. So I know that we are engaged, and we're continuing to get resources, and we'll continue to do so as long as that's needed.