It’s been a tough week for thousands of firefighters battling raging Northstate lightning fires in extremely high temperatures. Smoke continues to drift into the Redding area. The governor has declared a state of emergency for Modoc County.
The various fires of the Modoc Lightning Complex are producing their own weather with pyro-cumulus formations from extreme fire behavior. The fires now total more than 83,000 acres. Overall containment is around 40%. The largest is the Steele Fire located north and east of Clear Lake Reservoir. Mandatory evacuations are in effect for the Rush Creek area. The Cove Fire northwest of Adin is threatening Highway 299.
A series of five fires about 7 miles southwest of Happy Camp have combined to become the Clear Fire, which has burned about 4,000 acres of steep heavily forested terrain, with 20% containment.
Eight fires in the Six Rivers National Forest 20 miles north of Orleans make up the Orleans Complex, which total about 2400 acres with containment of just 3%. All but one are in backcountry areas and are being monitored, but the 1600 acre Ukonom Fire continues to spread through very steep terrain with a lot of burning material rolling downhill.
The Island Fire 14 miles west of Etna is around 1375 acres and is mostly being allowed to run it’s course as it grows by 20 to 50 acres a day.