Up-Canyon Winds, Low Smoke Hamper Efforts For Crews Battling The Monument Fire

The lightning-sparked Monument Fire is still expanding, now covering 74,759 acres. Containment has improved, but it’s still just 5%. It’s burning on both sides of Highway 299. At least 31 structures have been confirmed destroyed. Evacuation orders are in effect for Junction City, Burnt Ranch and everything in between. Fire managers say Thursday they experienced a lot of short-range spotting and uphill runs as the Highway 299 corridor brought up-canyon winds. Air support has been grounded much of the time due to low-lying smoke but whenever it clears they do what they can. Ground crews have been focusing on individual structure protection for Junction City, Burnt Ranch and other communities. The Highway 299 closure due to the Monument Fire goes from 7 miles west of Weaverville to 4 miles west of Burnt Ranch.

Containment continues to improve on the McFarland Fire, now at 57% after burning 50,684 acres. The McFarland is straddling the Shasta/Trinity County line south of Hayfork. All evacuation orders have been downgraded to warnings, including Wildwood, Post Mountain, Trinity Pines, Harrison Gulch and Platina. Highway 36 in Trinity County is open without restrictions.