Yes, there really is a fire in California right now called the “Karen Fire.” It’s now trending on Twitter and people can’t help but make jokes since “Karen” has been a trending theme over the last couple of months. But the Karen Fire really is a legitimate fire and not just a meme. Read on to find out what’s happening and how the fire got its name.
The Fire Started Near Karen Lane in Riverside County, California
Fires are typically named based on the locations where they begin. So the names are often associated with the streets where the fire started. In this case, the Karen Fire started near Karen Lane, thus it’s called “Karen Fire.”
Seeing lots of Qs on the #KarenFire feed about how CAL FIRE picked the name, so here's the quick version: incident names are almost always based on the reported location, which is usually a street name (so "Karen Lane" = Karen Fire).
— Matt Fern (@MattF_NorCal) July 26, 2020
The Karen Fire started at Sierra Avenue and Karen Lane in Jurupa Valley, California, according to the Riverside County Fire Department’s incident page for the fire.
— Paul Doherty (@pjdohertygis) July 26, 2020
Here’s a map of where the fire started. You may need to click “OK” to get rid of the splash screen below in order to see the map.
The fire started at around 3:09 p.m. on Saturday, July 25. As of the time of publication, no evacuations had been issued, no structures had been damaged or destroyed, and there were no injuries reported.
As of 6:15 p.m. local time, the fire had grown to 150 acres and was only 10% contained. At 4:50 p.m. it was only 40 acres, so the fire is growing at a moderate rate. Westerly winds of about 17 mph and high temperatures are helping the fire’s growth.
So far, 225 firefighters, two helicopters, and 34 engine companies have been assigned to respond to the Karen Fire. Here’s another map of the fire’s approximate location, as shared by Cal Fire.
According to San Bernardino County Fire, two roads are closed from the Karen Fire.
#KarenFire: San Bernardino Co Road Closures:
Sierra Ave – Both directions from Jurupa Ave thru county line.
Armstrong Ave – Both directions from 7th St thru county line.
— SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) July 26, 2020
Here’s a video of the fire.
— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) July 25, 2020
Here’s another video of the fire.
— Nice Boy Drunk By 6 (@BadGirlDrunkBy6) July 25, 2020
Some people said they could see the fire from their homes.
— ☁️Sky☁️ (@skyskeleton_) July 26, 2020
One person said on Twitter that it was scary to see the fire so close.
— ThisConnectedPodcast (@ConnectedThis) July 26, 2020
People on Twitter Are Sharing Memes & Jokes About the Fire
Of course, some memes and jokes are circulating on Twitter about the fire.
— Jermaine Watkins ✍🏾 (@JermaineWatkins) July 26, 2020
Here’s another tweet about the fire.
— Karen Pilarski (@KarenPilarski) July 26, 2020
Some people joked that they thought this would be another Karen video before they saw that it was an actual fire.
— Team Pajamas 24/7 (@kfairwrites) July 26, 2020
Others are saying that the name Karen Fire is perfectly appropriate for 2020.
— Emad E. Haddad (@emadehaddad) July 26, 2020
Here’s another GIF laughing about the Karen Fire.
— 🐮 Devin Nunes' Mad Person Woman Man Camera TV 🐮 (@JStatePost) July 26, 2020
A lot of jokes have a similar theme.
— Nish (@sunhfarm) July 26, 2020
And this tweet is getting a lot of attention.
The #KarenFire has asked to speak with the fire captain!
And if he’s NOT available, she wants to speak with the battalion chief!! pic.twitter.com/gBcUJns9Nq
— ✨Heidi Pascoe✨ (@Heidiverstunts) July 26, 2020
One person said they thought the name was trending because it was going to be about a team of Karens committing arson.
— muna (@mmunnaa_) July 26, 2020
One person was disappointed to learn it was an actual fire that was trending.
— PIRANHA (@PIRANHA410) July 26, 2020
Another person wrote: “Wow. I thought the #KarenFire was a joke, but it’s actually a real fire with that name. Thanks again 2020!”
Wow. I thought the #KarenFire was a joke, but it's actually a real fire with that name. Thanks again 2020!
— Jeremy Jojola (@jeremyjojola) July 26, 2020
How to Stay Updated on the Fire
If you’re in the area, you’ll want to stay updated on the fire, since details can change rapidly when wildfires are active. These resources are helpful:
- San Bernardino County Fire’s Twitter page
- Cal Fire’s Twitter page for Riverside County
- Riverside County’s Incident Page for the Karen Fire