Exploding Blaze Erupts West Of Red Bluff

Sep 5, 2019

The Chico Air Attack Base is supporting the Red Bank Fire. They just reloaded Tanker 101.
Credit CAL FIRE Butte Unit Twitter

A major wildfire has erupted in Tehama County about 25 miles west of Red Bluff and south of state route 36. It is currently burning out of control. 


CalFire reports the Red Bank Fire has already burned 5,000 acres. 


Mandatory evacuations have been ordered.


“Mandatory evacuations for Pettyjohn Road, from the start of Pettyjohn Road to the (Mendocino National) Forest boundary. The Red Bank Oak subdivision is also under mandatory evacuation, then the R-Wildhorse Ranch out on highway 36 is under an evacuation advisory.” Spokesman for CalFire’s Tehama/Glenn Unit Dave Dougty said.


Fire is moving in a northwesterly direction…..Doughty said the fire is burning through brush and oak woodlands and into Grasslands. 


Highway 36 remains open at this time. 


CalFire has dispatched 650 firefighters to attack the blaze, which was first reported around three this afternoon. 


We reached CalFire spokesman Rick Carhart, by phone at the Chico Air Attack Base.


“This particular fire is in an extremely remote area. It’s difficult access for anybody on the ground to even get to the fire. Carhart said. “And so everything we can do from the air, we’re going to slow down and cool off the fire, we’re going to do.”


He said aircraft have been playing a major role.


“Our air attack plane was flying over the fire for most of the afternoon, and then we have air tankers coming in really from all over the state, fighting this fire. From Chico, from Redding, even from places down in Southern California.”  he said.


With night falling though, air units have had to end operations. Carhart said an incident management team is being assembled. He said typically at night, when temperatures fall and humidity rises, fires usually spread less quickly. He said air tankers will again take flight at first light.


Cause of the fire is unknown at this time.


The US Forest Service reports 150 lightning strikes sparking 19 wildfires in Shasta Trinity National Forest.