Fire Update: Northern California 6-29-08

The telltale crash of thunder and the prospect of more lightning-caused fires rattled residents in the Burney area this afternoon.

“Definitely, there’s thunder-bumping going on here, and that’s not a good sign,” said Patty Adams, a McArthur-Burney Falls State Park aide.

She and others in her office, about six miles north of Burney, hadn’t noticed any lightning strikes though.

But that didn’t stop nerves from being on edge there and elsewhere as firefighters continued to battle hundreds of blazes around the north state caused a week earlier by a freak June 21 lightning storm.

The National Weather Service had predicted a 20 percent chance of lightning in the Burney area Sunday and Monday.

Areas of Trinity, Tehama and Shasta counties were forecast to have a 10 percent to 30 percent chance of lightning through Sunday.

Despite the threat of lightning strikes and the smoky pall that hung in the skies, people have been getting what enjoyment they can by going to have a look at the fires. That led to Highway 151 — the loop road to Shasta Dam — being closed today to traffic for motorists’ safety.

Here’s a list of the fires burning today around the north state with evening updates.

Spokespersons from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service provided this information:

Deerlick Complex:

This series of fires west of Ono grew to 12,000 acres today and continued to force the evacuation of 100 homes near Rainbow Lake Road. It was 5 percent contained.

Democrat and Motion fires:

These fires near Keswick and Shasta Dam merged Friday. The pair formed a 14,000-acre burn. Containment for both fires was listed at 20 percent.

Zogg Mine Fire:

This fire in the Igo-Ono area was still listed as 80 percent contained at 74 acres. No structures have been lost.

Moon Fire Complex:

This blaze had consumed 2,000 acres near Paradise Peak southwest of Redding. The fire was 20 percent contained.

Other Ono fires:

No information was available for the Little Valley Fire. On Friday, it was burning 150 acres. The Duckett Fire was 300 acres with no containment.

Pine Fire:

This fire, formerly called the Backbone Ridge Fire, has merged with the Donkey Mine fire south of Highway 299. It’s 1,230 acres at 90 percent containment.

Barley Fire:

This fire in southwest Shasta County held at 1,000 acres in the Graves Ranch area. It held at 5 percent containment.

Upper and Lower Grass Valley fires:

The Upper Grass Valley Fire near Buckhorn Summit has burned 150 acres, with no containment. The Lower Grass Valley Fire has grown from 200 to 700 acres, with 25 percent containment.

Little Fire:

The fire burned 50 acres near Whitmore and was 60 percent contained.

Stein Fire:

Flames have charred 667 acres near the Pit River arm of Lake Shasta, below the Pine Fire. It was 70 percent contained.

Deck Fire:

This fire was contained Friday at 150 acres between Igo and Ono.

Venture Fire:

This fire near Cassel was contained Friday at 1,500 acres.

Withrow Fire:

This fire north of Shingletown near Withrow Road was contained Friday at 270 acres.

Kirkman Fire:

This fire off Highway 44 near Dersch Road was contained at 2,500 acres.

Brown Fire:

Crews held this fire, which was threatening 15 buildings north of Weaverville. It was downgraded to 100 acres and was fully contained Friday.

Lime Complex:

The Lime Complex in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest had consumed 30,339 acres and was 15 percent contained. Some 844 firefighters were battling this group of 79 fires with some as large as 4,000 acres burning west of Hayfork and south of Hyampom. The Noble and Telephone fires forced closures of Highway 36 15 miles east of Platina to Highway 3. Hyampom, Platina and Wildwood are all threatened should the fires keep spreading. Costs of fighting the Lime Complex were pegged at $5.2 million. The Lime Complex command post sits in Hayfork.

Iron Complex:

About 650 firefighters are battling this group of 21 blazes in northeastern Trinity County. Total acreage burned stood at 13,325 acres and the fires were 5 percent contained. Crews were still trying to keep the Ziegler Fire out of Hawkins Bar. The Eagle Fire continues to grow near Helena and Canyon Creek. Firefighters are coordinating their efforts from a command post in Junction City. Estimated firefighting costs so far on the Iron Complex are $2.6 million.

Alps Complex:

This new complex of fires was separated by officials from the Iron Complex. It includes 15 fires in and adjacent to the Trinity Alps Wilderness. The blazes are estimated at 2,445 acres and were zero percent contained. Only 18 firefighters were assigned to these fires. The Buckhorn Fire backed down to a bulldozer line adjacent to the private Brooks Ranch, but crews were facing winds blowing away from structures.

SHF June Lightning Complex:

Some 33 fires are burning 120 acres, but are 90 percent contained. Three fires in the Stewart Fork drainage are almost contained. About 80 firefighters are assigned.

Whiskeytown Complex:

Four wildfires on Shasta Bally have charred nearly 4,000 acres and threatened power lines that feed communication towers atop the mountain, including those for emergency agencies in Shasta County. Park officials cleared the Oak Bottom campground and beach to make room for a fire camp. The Oak Bottom public boat launch will stay open with the Oak Bottom Marina and stores. Go to http://www.nps.gov/whis for updated information on the Whiskeytown fires.

Siskiyou Complex:

These fires in far western Siskiyou County had grown to 5,600 acres by Today morning, but crews were holding containment lines.

It may be some time before Highway 96 is open where Dillon Creek flows into the Klamath River, as a front-end loader tried to keep burning debris, rocks and trees cleared so fire vehicles could have access.

Tehama County:

Fire officials were “doing extremely well” at containing two blazes still burning in Tehama County, a spokeswoman said.

Firefighters soon hoped to have a line fully around the 3,000-acre Antelope Creek Fire and the 11,360-acre Mill Fire on the county’s eastern side.

The Noble Fire, threatening 175 structures along Highway 36 near Platina, was reported at 3,000 acres and 10 percent containment.

Peterson Complex:

The Popcorn and Peterson fires southwest of McArthur in eastern Shasta County merged into a single 7,800-acre blaze. The fires were 60 percent contained. Authorities lifted a cautionary-evacuation request of 160 residents in Little Valley in Lassen County

Latest Available Update: 6-30-08

Update 7-2-08

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