California’s deadliest fire is 100% contained; focus shifts to larger blaze in Mendocino County

The deadliest fire in California so far this year, the Carr fire in Shasta and Trinity counties, was fully contained Thursday night, officials said. Pictured above are homes destroyed in the Mary Lake Subdivision.
(Michael Burke / AP)

California’s deadliest fire in 2018 has been 100% contained, and its largest is not far behind, according to state fire officials.

The Carr fire was sparked by a malfunctioning recreational trailer off Highway 299 in Shasta County on July 23 and scorched 229,651 acres, destroyed 1,079 homes and killed eight people, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. The fire was 100% contained Thursday night.

“Although full containment has been achieved, firefighters will continue to patrol the fire area for several days and fire suppression repair remains ongoing,” Cal Fire said in a statement.


At one point, more than 4,700 firefighters from the U.S. and abroad battled the blaze as it pushed west into Redding, north toward Shasta Lake and east toward Lewiston, officials said. The fire fed on drought-stricken trees, bone-dry grass and was fueled by triple-digit summer heat.

It is the sixth-largest fire in modern state history, according to Cal fire. This year it is also the deadliest so far.

After moving predictably in its first days, the Carr fire exploded on July 26 as it moved into Redding.

That day the fire killed four residents, a bulldozer operator and a Redding firefighter who was trying to help people flee the flames. In the days after, a Pacific Gas & Electric worker helping to restore power in the area died in an accident, followed by a second firefighter who died in a car crash.

Meanwhile, crews on Friday were wrapping up efforts to contain the Mendocino Complex fire, a pair of wildfires that broke out near each other in the Mendocino National Forest on July 27.

Treated as a single incident, the fire was 96% contained Friday and had scorched 459,102 acres, dwarfing all other fires in modern state history. For comparison’s sake, the second-largest fire in recorded state history, the Thomas fire that burned in Southern California last year, was 281,893 acres.


The Mendocino Complex fires have destroyed 157 homes and killed one firefighter. Full containment is expected Saturday, according to Cal Fire.

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10:00 p.m.: This article was updated to reflect an increase in containment of the Mendocino Complex to 96% from 93%.

This article was originally published at 2:25 p.m.