About a month ago, the small “Creek Fire” raged through a hilly spot west of Redding known as “Happy Valley.” Sadly, Happy Valley seems to be rather fire-prone, as there have been at least three fires there since I’ve been in the area, and evidence of plenty more well before that. The most recent fire was small enough to not really be newsworthy, at only 1,700 acres. While we saw the smoke, it didn’t really register on my mental radar until I drove up Clear Creek Road one afternoon to just escape into the country for a bit.
But when I saw it, wow! The burned area surrounding Clear Creek Road looked like a moonscape, gray and desolate, with the burned trunks of a few trees punctuating the otherwise completely devastated area. Even the road was damaged, with melted guard rails and burned guardrail supports.
Today I went out scouting and found that I can now drive quite a ways out Clear Creek Road before encountering a roadblock. So I made a video so you can see what a freshly burned area looks like. You can also see how much smoke we are still dealing with. And I’ll ask for some forgiveness in advance. The video is kind of long, almost 12 minutes. So if you want to see how smoky Redding itself is, and tire of listening to me chatter as I drive down a country road, then skip to the last couple minutes.
By the way, in terms of update, there’s not a lot to report. It’s still smoky here, though perhaps a bit less so. Temperatures seem to have cooled somewhat, with highs now forecast in the lowest possible 100’s and nighttime temps dipping into the upper 60’s. And the fire continues to grow, but so does the containment percentage, now at 115,000 acres and 35%, respectively. However the southeastern fire line at Placer Road continues to hold, so it would appear that Redding is safe for now. At least if the wind doesn’t pick up substantially. Keep your fingers crossed.
Thanks for watching, and any criticism is much appreciated. Please leave your comments below.
(By the way, be sure to set the quality setting of the video to 720p or 1080p. The smoke degrades the visibility quite a bit, and with a low-quality playback setting, the video just looks like fog.)