Redding Reptiles Survives Devastating Carr Fire In Northern California
August 6, 2018
Redding Reptiles in Redding, CA had a close call but survived the devastating Carr Fire that has destroyed thousands of buildings and took the lives of several people.
Over the past week we’ve heard one too many devastating stories from our customers who have lost everything. We want to...Posted by Redding Reptiles on Friday, August 3, 2018
Co-owner Sandra DodgeStreich initially thought that they were safe from the fire, even taking in 30 reptiles from owners who had to evacuate their homes, but it soon became apparent that they would also have to evacuate. When the fire came within a mile of the 1,300 square foot store, DodgeStreich and co-owner Ryan Allinger made the decision to pack up all the reptiles in the store, 210 in all.
Redding Reptiles had to move its 210 reptiles six times during the Carr Fire.
"We went to the dollar store and bought all the pillow cases they had (about 60) and put snakes (balls, corns, etc...and lizards (adult Bearded Dragons, blue tongue skinks, uromastyx, chuckwallas, Nile monitor) in them," DodgeStreich told ReptilesMagazine.com.
"We also went to Home Depot and bought over $200 of a variety of sizes of tubs. We tried to be organized by marking tubs. Babies went together (beardies, geckos, snakes). It took us five hours to pack and move them to our home with the help of some customers. We live about three miles from our store thinking we would be safe there."
But the fire relented, and they had to move the animals several times by July 28 and in the process, Eres, a 14-foot lavender albino reticulated python somehow managed to squeeze its way out of her temporary tub, even though about 200 pounds of snakes were stacked on top of Eres' tub.
“We were evacuated three times and moved them [the reptiles] a total of six times,” DodgeStreich told ReptilesMagazine.com. “After the fourth relocation, our 14-foot lavender albino pushed out of her tub even with 200 pounds of snakes in tubs above her. We were staying at our friend’s home since our home was evacuated soon after we got everyone transported and settled there. She was found the following morning in the backyard of a neighbor.”
With no plan in case of an emergency, the owners of Redding Reptiles were fortunate. Of the 210 reptiles that had to be evacuated, just two snakes perished in the store; baby ball pythons that were just a few weeks old.
Eres, a display animal at Redding Reptiles (The store does not sell large, constricting snakes) escaped during the evacuation but was found a few days later not far from where she escaped.
“I sure have worried and thought about it many a night especially during fire season,” DodgeStreich told ReptilesMagazine.com. “That morning as we were taking in pets from customers that had been evacuated overnight my son and I started discussing what we needed to do and then reached out for help and got it done.”
Redding Reptiles has teamed up with Zilla, ZooMed, SnakeBytes, and others to help those reptile owners who have lost their homes to the fire. "If you lost your home in the fire: we need to know who you are, what you need, and how much, Redding Reptiles wrote on its Facebook page. Please call them at 530-338-2446. You can reach Redding Reptiles via its website at https://www.reddingreptiles.com
As of publication, the Carr Fire is 43 percent contained with more than 1,000 homes destroyed and 160,000 acres burned. Seven people perished during the fire.