To give some perspective as to the size of the fire, in the smoke on the left side of the bottom picture, that little speck about a third of the way up is a double blade ‘copter with a bucket.
Fire officials relied on bulldozers, air tankers and helicopters at the Chalk Fire on Friday to prevent the 6,923-acre blaze from breaching containment lines and closing in on 11 structures.
Lori Mathiesen, spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the Burney-area fire grew about 100 acres from Thursday to Friday and mandatory evacuations remained in effect for 10 residences along Skunk Ridge Road near Big Bend.
River Road remained closed at Pit 5 Dam.
Crews so far have kept the fire within their lines and, if weather permits, more firing operations would be under way this weekend, she said. Windy conditions Thursday and Friday blew embers that created spot fires, but none fell outside the contingency lines, she said.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s Pit 4 powerhouse along the Pit River also was threatened by the fire, officials said.
As of Friday evening, the Chalk Fire had settled at 6,923 acres. The fire is one of 40 started by an Aug. 1 lightning storm.
Fire officials on Friday began releasing some engines and crews for fire duty elsewhere in the state, Cal Fire spokesman Brent Saulsbury said.
The SHU Lightning Complex of fires has burned 17,623 acres, and crews continued their efforts on the Chalk, Cassel (6,097 acres) and Goose (3,949 acres) fires.
The whole complex of fires was 70 percent contained Friday evening with mop-up operations continuing where containment lines have held.
Full containment was expected Sunday.
Nineteen minor injuries have been reported on the fire complex with suppression costs amounting to $26.8 million.
Some 1,580 people are working on the fires, of which 1,332 are Cal Fire personnel.
The 9,356-acre Sugarloaf Fire, part of the Hat Creek Complex to the southeast near Old Station, was reportedly fully contained by Friday morning, and mop-up efforts continued there throughout the day.
Lightning-sparked fires in the Trinity River Management Unit Complex have all been extinguished, but crews continue to monitor hot spots, said Rita Vollmer, a U.S. Forest service spokeswoman.
She said all the TRMU fires were less than 40 acres.