Redding local newspaper loses power during fire, still prints news


Print news is alive. 

After California’s violent Carr Fire jumped over the Sacramento River Thursday night and entered the west part of Redding, home to over 90,000 inhabitants, the tempestuous fire took out a significant portion’s of the city’s electrical grid — even toppling transmission towers

But the local newspaper, the Redding Record Searchlight, was able to get its paper out — amid approaching flames and without power. 

On Friday, Record Searchlight reporter Damon Arthur tweeted that the paper’s office had lost all power, similar to other parts of the city, including evacuation centers

In fact, power in some areas had been lost even earlier, as Friday’s edition of the Record Searchlight had to be printed in Chico, a city some 70 miles south of Redding. The editor of Chico’s Chico-Enterprise Record tweeted out a picture of the July 27 issue of the paper on Friday.

As the paper reads, “Carr Fire explodes to more than 20,000 acres.” As of Friday morning, the fire had expanded to more than 44,000 acres. And by Saturday, it covered more than 80,000 acres.

Reporters at the Redding Record Searchlight were understandably quite busy Saturday — reporting the unfolding, and dramatic, local news — but Mashable will update this story if we hear back.

On Firday, U.S. Forest Service lead meteorologist Brenda Belongie, who lives and works in Redding, described the fire as “dramatic — just like you would see in the Hollywood movies, if you will.”

California’s forests are ripe for fire, said Belongie. The vegetation there, dried out by long periods of heat and dryness, have been turned to tinder. 

It’s well understood that wildfires are caused by a confluence of events — including strong winds, often human behavior, and the whims of weather; but large fires need bounties of dry fuel, and an accelerated rise in global temperatures dries out the land and produces more extreme heatwaves, further enabling violent events like the now-deadly Carr Fire.

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