Hot Weather Intensifies Fight Against NorCal Lightning Fires

Hot, dry weather returning to parts of northern California threaten to make conditions worse for firefighters who struggled to contain massive wildfires after a brief cooling trend.

The August Lightning Fire Complex that started August 17th as 37 different fires on the Mendocino National Forest has burned over 236,300 acres. Many of the original fires 30 miles northwest of Willows have merged to form larger fires. They include the 172,500 acre Doe Fire, the 11,600 acre Tatham Fire, the 20,600 acre Glade Fire and the 11,600 acre 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 39,620 acres and 40% contained. Two structures have been destroyed and it continues to be a threat to communities to the north and east, including Platina, 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 24,000 acres with 42% overall containment.