REDDING, Calif. — Saturday morning, the Redding Fire Department held a Carr Fire community debriefing offering community members a safe space to share stories and ask questions about the fire in a town-hall style discussion.
A panel of firefighters led the meeting answering questions and sharing information to better prepare both sides for another possible disaster.
The panel and attendees discussed ways to better fire-proof homes, including suggestions such as avoiding landscaping as ground cover or cedar fencing around homes because of their flammability.
Attendees shared stories of what they experienced the night the fire entered the Redding city limits.
"What we also saw on the trail cams was a firefighter standing with flames around him, and he's got our American flag. And he took it down and rolled it up and he put it in a safe place. So when we came home our American flag was still flying," said a Carr Fire survivor speaking at the podium.
The most popular topic was the lack of fire personnel the department faces from funding decreases over the years.
The suggested number of firefighters on each engine by industry experts is four, but in Redding most engines only have two.
After hearing about the struggles they face to fill their engines with enough firefighters, the audience attempted to find ways to help. They ultimately determined the only way to truly fix the problem was to attend city council meetings and consider voting for a tax increase to fight for the funding they need to succeed.
Despite some attendees losing their homes, the outpouring of appreciation for the work the firefighters did echoed around the room with nearly every speaker at the podium.