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Area Wildfires Continue To Spread, Smoke Drifts Into Redding

Smoke drifting into the Northern Sacramento Valley is mostly coming from some wildfires to the north that have expanded greatly in the last few days from lightning strikes that occurred over the past week and a half.

In Modoc County a series of lightning fires continue to grow at an alarming rate. Fires that totaled less than 10,000 acres Friday have grown together to form several fires totaling around 62,000 acres. Overall containment of all the Modoc Lightning Complex fires is around 35%. The largest is the difficult to access Steele Fire, which is about 30,000 acres located north and east of Clear Lake Reservoir. The Cove Fire northwest of Adin is 3300 acres.

Lightning strikes last Tuesday set off a series of fires about 7 miles southwest of Happy Camp known as the Clear Complex. Those five fires are burning a total of about 2,450 acres of steep heavily forested terrain with just 10% containment.

That same storm started eight fires in the Six Rivers National forest 20 miles north of Orleans dubbed the Orleans Complex, which total about 1300 acres with no significant containment. They’re spreading into an area that’s increasingly steep and thick with timber.

The Island fire 14 miles west of Etna is more than a month old. The 1300 acre blaze is burning in an area with no recorded fire history and it’s surrounded on three sides by previously burned or scarcely vegetated areas. It’s mostly being allowed to run it’s course as it chews through 20 to 50 acres a day.