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California Crews Battle OR Gulch Fire

Gulch Fire 8-3YREKA, Calif. – The Oregon Gulch Fire is burning more than 9,000 acres in California.  On Sunday, fire crews were back on the line.  Most of the fire to the west and south has been “black lined.”  Fire officials said this is not a containment line, but a fire line that keeps the fire from spreading.  However, the fire is still moving to the east too quickly for fire crews to catch up.

Out of the 1,041 personnel on the fire, only 161 are in California, but this is enough to get the job done according to Jeff LaRusso, a public information officer with CAL Fire.

The main challenge right now remains the erratic winds, but the smoke in the atmosphere is also causing problems.  As the day progresses, the smoke gets thinner, allowing smoke plumes to grow and the fire to spread faster.

LaRusso described it as “shaking a Coke bottle and then taking the lid off.” The fire and smoke just explodes.

“Everything is going upward and then that changes the weather on the fire, and we’ve experienced that the past couple of days in the evenings,” said LaRusso.

In the next 12 hours, fire officials expect the fire to grow even more to the East.  No further evacuations have been issued.