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Lava Fire grows to 19,680 acres as crews work to build containment

Fire crews were able to build containment of the Lava Fire up to 25 percent, the first increase in days of relentless firefighting.

Posted: Jul 1, 2021 9:38 AM
Updated: Jul 1, 2021 9:51 AM

WEED, Calif. — The Lava Fire continued to grow throughout Wednesday and overnight, but fire crews managed to make the first tangible progress on containment in days amid shifts in the fire's behavior. An overnight assessment raised the size of the fire to 19,680 acres, with 25 percent containment as of Thursday morning.

Fire officials said in a morning update that they had managed to construct lines stretching from the fire's northernmost reaches down its western flanks through Highway 97 and the Weed area.

"On the east side of the fire, down through the Shasta Vista area, there's still ongoing mop-up operations  . . . our line in there isn't quite secure just due to the population in there and folks still around. We're working diligently in there to get that contained," said Jeff Hinson, operations section chief for California Team 14.

Hinson said that crews have been struggling to build lines in some of the lava fields south of Mount Shasta Vista, but better progress is being made on the eastern side of the fire. On the south side, towards Mount Shasta, aircraft were hitting the fire hard as it backed southward against the wind.

"Today we expect to have another good day, winds are moderating on us, weather patterns changing a little bit in our favor," said Hinson.

While the Lava Fire remains the largest in Siskiyou County, other fires in Northern California are competing for some of the same resources. The Tennant Fire continues to grow just a few miles east along Highway 97, and the Salt Fire started to grow quickly in Shasta County near Redding on Wednesday.

Evacuation orders remain in place for a number of areas around the Lava Fire, starting with residents on the north side of Hoy Road, north along Highway 97 to County Road A-12, and the communities of Lake Shastina and Juniper Valley off Big Springs Road from Highway 97 to McDonald Lane on both east and west sides of Big Springs Road.

Mandatory evacuations also cover the Mount Shasta Vista Subdivision, County Road A-12 north and south, Harry Cash Road, and 4 Corners to Hart Road.

Highway 97 remains closed from I-5 in Weed all the way to the Oregon border near Dorris, according to Caltrans.

The Lava Fire was originally one of four fires sparked by last week's thunderstorms. Though fire crews managed to quickly find and contain all three, the Lava Fire came back to life after crews left, growing in the rocky terrain about 3.5 miles northeast of Weed and southeast of Lake Shastina.

On Sunday morning the fire was mapped at 220 acres with 25 percent containment, but it continued to spread rapidly amid the record heat. As of Monday morning, officials said that the fire covered roughly 1,446 acres with 20 percent containment. It ballooned in size throughout the day on Monday and through the night.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 5161
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Washington41981395
Marion39886506
Clackamas32773378
Lane30113355
Jackson24880360
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Umatilla15126180
Linn14637179
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California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5083462

Reported Deaths: 74473
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152713227166
San Diego4069274335
Riverside3876785358
San Bernardino3745435962
Orange3343985725
Sacramento1683542443
Kern1576621804
Fresno1567952254
Santa Clara1520891925
Alameda1251761504
San Joaquin1075591834
Ventura1040031190
Contra Costa1037721046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare860871096
San Francisco56909669
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Merced45053667
Sonoma43168412
Placer42141470
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Shasta26081451
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Santa Cruz22248224
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Napa13420104
Yuba1076089
Tehama10275130
Humboldt10158119
Nevada10019105
Mendocino857197
Lassen796756
San Benito781578
Tuolumne773090
Lake7043110
Amador577366
Siskiyou474755
Glenn457436
Calaveras441588
Del Norte375542
Colusa325220
Inyo256646
Plumas19367
Mono18784
Mariposa160018
Trinity99717
Modoc7655
Unassigned3220
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
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