SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has ordered Capitol flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of two firefighters who died while working on the Carr Fire in Shasta County – Redding Fire Prevention Inspector Jeremiah “Jeremy” Stoke and a bulldozer operator whose name has not been released.
“Anne and I were devastated to learn about the deaths of these two heroes who lost their lives while protecting their fellow Californians,” said Governor Brown. “We honor them and all the first responders who are working day and night to protect life and property as wildfires continue to burn across the state.”
Fire Inspector Stoke, 37, of Redding, died while working to ensure the residents of west Redding had a chance to escape the flames. He began his firefighting career 17 years ago and was a 14-year veteran of the City of Redding Fire Department. Fire Inspector Stoke is survived by his wife, Alyson, thirteen-year-old son, Caleb and nine-year-old daughter, Aubrey.
Capitol flags will be lowered for 72 hours in honor of both men.
Governor Brown also announced today that the President and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) granted California’s request for a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to further support the communities impacted by the Carr Fire in Shasta County.
This federal assistance includes air assets to mitigate the impacts of this fire, shelter supplies and water for evacuated residents, and support with mass care, ambulatory transport and the evacuation of individuals with access and functional needs as well as large animals. This aid will help save lives, and protect property, public health and safety.
The Carr Fire broke out in Shasta County earlier this week during exceptionally dangerous fire weather conditions, including extremely hot temperatures, low humidity and erratic winds. These conditions have caused the Carr Fire to grow uncontrollably, causing widespread destruction and at least two fatalities.
On Thursday, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency in Shasta County and deployed California National Guard assets to bolster the state’s response to the fires and support local evacuations. The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has also activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California to its highest level and is coordinating with other local, state and federal emergency response officials to address emergency management needs.
To date, the Carr Fire has burned more than 80,906 acres and is only 5 percent contained. The fire has forced approximately 38,000 residents to evacuate their homes.
More information on state and federal disaster declarations can be found here.