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Firefighter Dies In Tough Battle Against Huge NorCal Fires

Conditions this week are very bad for firefighters who are already understaffed battling massive wildfires in northern California.

A firefighter has been killed and another injured battling the August Lightning Fire Complex in Glenn and Tehama Counties. No details are available about the fallen. The complex started August 17th as 37 different fires on the Mendocino National Forest has burned over 243,000 acres. Many of the original fires 30 miles northwest of Willows have merged to form larger fires. They include the enormous Doe Fire, the Tatham Fire, the Glade Fire and the Hull Fire. The complex has an estimated overall containment of 20%.

The Elkhorn Fire in the Tomhead Mountain area of western Tehama County is now 40,500 acres and 42% contained. It continues to be a threat to communities to the north and east though many evacuation orders have been reduced to warnings.

Most lightning fires in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest have been relatively small. The 230 acre Spring Fire near Deer Lick Springs is fully contained.

The Red Salmon Complex in the Trinity Alps Wilderness about 14 miles northeast of Willow Creek is 24,500 acres with 42% overall containment.

The North Complex in Plumas and Lassen National Forests originally included 21 fires, but 16 are contained. The largest are the 29,500 acre Sheep Fire, the 8,300 acre Bear Fire and the 22,000 acre Claremont Fire. The complex has an overall containment of 37%.

Of the original 34 lightning fires in Butte County, all are either contained or in mop up status. They total about 2,800 acres with 80% overall containment

A sagebrush and juniper fire in eastern Lassen and Modoc Counties continues to grow but containment has improved. The Cold Springs Fire has now burned around 81,000 acres with 57% containment.