Hot dry conditions are making it difficult for firefighters on the North State’s huge lightning fires, and officials are on edge going into the Labor Day weekend as campers and others head into the tinder dry forests.
The August Lightning Fire Complex that started August 17th as 37 different fires on the Mendocino National Forest has burned over 298,600 acres. Many of the original fires 30 miles northwest of Willows have merged to form larger fires. They include the Doe Fire, the Tatham Fire, the Glade Fire and the Hull Fire. The complex has an estimated overall containment of 23%.
The Elkhorn Fire in the Tomhead Mountain area of Western Tehama County has burned 45,450 acres with 47% containment. It continues to be a threat to communities to the north and east though many evacuation orders have been reduced to warnings.
The Red Salmon Complex in the Trinity Alps Wilderness about 14 miles northeast of Willow Creek has increased to 30,900 acres and containment has been reduced to 32%.
The Hobo Fire burning on extremely steep terrain near Barney Gulch north of Helena in Trinity County is about 412 acres and 25% contained.
The North Complex in Plumas and Lassen National Forests originally included 21 fires, but 16 are contained. The largest still active are the 29,500 acre Sheep Fire, the 8,300 acre Bear Fire and the 22,000 acre Claremont Fire. The overall containment of the complex is 42%. Many evacuation orders have been downgraded.
A Sagebrush and Juniper Fire in Eastern Lassen and Modoc Counties continues to grow but containment has greatly improved. The Cold Springs Fire has now burned around 84,800 acres with 94% containment.