Peter fire destroys homes and damages tortoise sanctuary in Shasta County

A home is consumed by fire
The Peter fire consumes a home in Anderson, Calif., on Thursday.
(Damon Arthur / Record Searchlight)

Firefighters made significant progress Friday against a wildfire in Shasta County that burned more than 300 acres and destroyed several homes after first flaring up Thursday afternoon.

Evacuation orders were lifted Friday evening for residents near the Northern California city of Anderson, just south of Redding, but nearby roads remained closed otherwise. The Peter fire had burned 304 acres and was 50% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Twelve structures have been destroyed in the blaze, although authorities have not confirmed how many of those were residences. Photographs show at least one home in flames, and a local newspaper reported at least three houses were destroyed.


Crews continued to expand and strengthen containment lines Friday, and work to repair damage from hand and dozer lines was ongoing, Cal Fire said.

Firefighters first responded to the fire burning on Peter Pan Gulch and Olinda roads west of the city of Anderson just before 3 p.m. Thursday.

Ground crews and air tankers dropped water across the dry vegetation west of Anderson and were able to stop the fire’s forward progress by nightfall.

The blaze nearly destroyed the Tortoise Acres Rescue & Sanctuary and injured several tortoises, co-owner Katie Hoffman posted on Facebook.

The Peter fire broke out Thursday afternoon near the city of Anderson, prompting evacuation orders, authorities said.

July 14, 2022

“The tortoises are safe right now,” Hoffman said. “Lots of people threw tortoises in their cars, and we don’t know where half of them are yet. We are still trying to sort out who is who and where we can put them.”


Hoffman shared images of the reptiles covered in bright pink fire retardant dropped by aircraft and other images of scorched pens where they once lived.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Cal Fire said.