Your weather when it really mattersTM


Please choose your default site


Asia - Pacific


California's 7th worst wildfire destroyed 1,077 homes and spawned a fire tornado

Thursday, July 29th 2021, 6:20 pm - On this day in weather history, the Carr Fire crossed into Redding, California.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features stories about people, communities, and events and how weather impacted them.


On Monday, July 26, 2021, a wildfire crossed the Sacramento River and headed into the city of Redding, causing 38,000 people to evacuate. This was a major event associated with the Carr Fire.

The Carr Fire burned in Shasta and Trinity Counties in California, U.S. The wildfire started on July 23, 2018, in the Whiskeytown–Shasta–Trinity National Recreation Area. In a naming coincidence, the fire started when a vehicle popped a tire and the rim scraped against the asphalt. The friction caused sparks that ignited dry vegetation along the highway.

1920px-Carr Fire 28 July 2018 b Carr Fire. Courtesy of Wikipedia

Strong wind caused the fire to expand quickly. Emergency crews could not access the ignited area due to steep terrain, so the fire continued to spread.

The Carr Fire burned 92,936 ha before it was completely contained on August 30, 2018. It burned over 1,604 structures, including 1,077 homes. It's the seventh-most destructive fire in the state's history.

By the time the fire spread to Redding, it burned 11,640 ha. On July 26, from 7:30–8:00 p.m., a fire whirl developed, spreading the fire even further. The fire whirl, which is essentially a tornado made of fire, packed strong winds as high as 230 km/h (equivalent to an EF3 tornado).

Wind and fire ravaged Redding, causing three deaths. Overall, the Carr Fire killed eight people, including three firefighters.

To learn more about the Carr Fire, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

Subscribe to 'This Day in Weather History': Apple Podcasts | Amazon Alexa | Google Assistant | Spotify | Google Podcasts | iHeartRadio | Overcast'

Thumbnail: Carr Fire - Redding, California. Courtesy of Caltrans District 2 via Storyful

Default saved

Search Location


Sign In

Please sign in to use this feature.