Six CA Wildland Firefighters Injured Battling McFarland Fire

Aug. 9, 2021
A hand crew working to contain the northern California wildfire south of Wildwood suffered first- and second-degree burns when a spot fire jumped ahead of them.

Six firefighters suffered burn injuries Friday while battling the McFarland Fire, which has continued to burn along three Northern California county lines.

A hand crew was working on the south side of the blaze when a spot fire jumped ahead of them, Forest Service officials said in a social media post. The firefighters suffered first- and minor-second-degree burns.

Officials said they were examined by medics, then sent to Redding for further evaluation. A physician saw four of the firefighters' injuries, and all six were released Saturday morning. According to the release, they'll all have a few days off before being released to return to work.

The McFarland Fire is burning south of Wildwood on the border of Shasta, Trinity and Tehama county lines. As of Sunday morning, it has charred 31,185 acres with 21% containment.

The lightning-caused fire continued to spread during the weekend, burning more than 7,000 acres since Thursday. A historic drought coupled with high temperatures and steep and difficult terrain have made conditions challenging.

In a Sunday morning update, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest said the blaze is continuing to spread to the east and southeast through dry fuels with a moderate rate of spread along with short to moderate spotting. The fire is well established in the middle fork of Beegum Creek, Pole Corral Creek and south of Dubakella Mountain.

On Saturday, the Forest Service said in a news release that national forest roads and trails close to the McFarland and Monument fires are closed to the public. The closure will expire Oct. 31.

"We do not make closure decisions lightly," Forest Supervisor Rachel Birkey said in the release. "The erratic and extreme fire behavior we are witnessing on both fires requires that we employ an abundance of caution in our commitment to the safety of the public and our firefighters."

An evacuation order is in place for the town of Wildwood. Those areas are Highway 36 at Wildwood Road and north on Wildwood Road for 10 miles. An evacuation center for residents is set up at First Baptist Church in Weaverville.

Evacuation warnings are also in these areas:

  • Community of Post Mountain near the junction of Highway 36 and Highway 3
  • Community of Trinity Pines
  • Shields Road
  • White Rock Road
  • Harrison Gulch Road from Highway 36 to Deerlick Springs Road
  • Community of Platina
  • Both sides of Highway 36 from Sunday Gulch Road to the Shasta/ Tehama County line
  • All roads to the south of Highway 36 from Sunday Gulch to the Shasta/ Tehama County line including Beegum Gorge Road, Platinum Lane, Secluded Glen Lane, Shady Nook Drive, Beegum Road

Due to the blaze, Highway 36 is closed from White Rock to the Highway 3 junction, and Wildwood Road is closed from Highway 36 to Highway 3, officials said.

Amanda Munsey, a spokesperson on the McFarland Fire, said a total of eight firefighters have been injured and two structures damaged. A total of 695 personnel are assigned to the blaze, according to the Forest Service.


(c)2021 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

Visit The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Firehouse, create an account today!