I decided to go smoke-hunting and look for key vantage points to take photos. I had no plans, or even thoughts, of going to Weaverville, yet I ended up there.
At the time of the posting, the Helena Fire had grown to 7,440 acres and mandatory evacuations were issued for Helena and Junction City. My smoke-hunting journey started on Hilltop Drive in Redding. Smoke makes the photos look blurry, and not so colorful. They’re kind of blah looking photos, yet interesting.
This is looking south toward Anderson over Highway 44.
This view is from the Hilltop Drive overpass looking south onto Interstate 5. Not so pretty. Everyone spending time outside today was a smoker.
Here I’m standing on the Sundial Bridge looking upstream.
And this is looking downstream from the Sundial Bridge. Things are a little clearer looking east, but that’s just because the 4 p.m. sun was behind me. On a clear day you can see Lassen Peak.
I decided that the parking garage at Mercy Medical Center would be a good, strategic point to see north, east and south. We’re not even close to seeing Mt. Shasta today. On the right you can barely see the Sundial Bridge.
From Mercy Medical Center you can see Redding City Hall in the photos’s center. The new police station is to its left. And above that you can see Shasta Regional Medical Center across Cypress Avenue from City Hall.
In this photo you can see the Cypress Bridge in the center to left of photo. Isn’t our city lovely? We can’t complain, however, in lieu of what’s happening in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.
From atop the Mercy Medical Center parking garage I’m looking southeast. Still no sign of Lassen Peak.
I had no intentions of driving to Weaverville, but I decided to drive to Whiskeytown Lake. Before I knew it I was driving onward to Weaverville. And the smoke got heavier.
Weaverville’s smoke-filled streets.
As I left Weaverville, the smoke seemed to be getting thicker. So I pulled over in the Tops Super Foods Shopping Center by Burger King for another photo.
I saw a guy sitting on the lawn with a dog. I asked him if he had been evacuated. He said he had. Max Hopkins had just moved to Junction City from San Diego only one week ago and was staying with his friend who’s pacing in the parking talking lot on his cell phone. His friend suddenly saw a huge cloud of smoke and knew they had to get out of there right away. On the phone, Max’s friend is talking with someone about what he’d done with his animals. Max was shocked to find himself currently homeless with his friend and his friend’s dog Herbie.
On the way back to Redding it seemed to be even more smoky.
I decided to stop at Whiskeytown Lake, which was my initial destination, and take a couple photos. At that time, however, the sun was setting.
Deepest condolences to those who’ve lost their homes in the fire, and those who’ve been evacuated, and whose homes and lives have been threatened. Thank you, firefighters and volunteers.
Stay safe, everyone.