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Winds Remain A Threat To Crews Battling Monument & McFarland Fires

The lightning-sparked Monument Fire now covers more than 67,200 acres, still with just 3% containment. 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 the fuels are ready to burn whenever embers touch them, and firefighters are at the mercy of the winds. When they pick up, it means fast uphill runs and long-range spotting. 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.

Crews have made great progress on the McFarland Fire, straddling the Shasta/Trinity County line south of Hayfork. The McFarland is 51% contained after burning 37,800 acres. All evacuation orders have been downgraded to warnings, including Wildwood, Post Mountain, Trinity Pines, Harrison Gulch and Platina. Highway 36 in Trinity County is under one-way traffic control from 3 miles east of the Highway 3 junction to 6 miles west of Wildwood.