SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. — The so-called Lava Fire continues to plague fire crews battling the blaze in the inaccessible slopes of Mount Shasta.
The fire has reached 24,752 acres and is 39% contained, according to the latest update from Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
"The Lava Fire has stayed mostly within its footprint since yesterday’s update, with very little new growth," a spokesperson with Shasta-Trinity National Forest said in the news release.
While several thousand residents of Lake Shastina have been allowed to return home following evacuation orders, Siskiyou County Sheriff evacuation orders remain in place.
Hot and dry conditions persist in the area, and firefighters are preparing for potential windy thunderstorms. A dry lightning strike is suspected of setting the so-called Lava Fire near Mount Shasta, so fire crews are also looking to for any further lightning that could create new flareups.
With the Fourth of July here, firefighters battling the destructive blazes across Northern California are looking to visitors at national and state forest campsites to be aware that untended campfires or a misplaced spark could set new blazes. At the same time, Cal Fire is urging people to only use Safe and Sane fireworks when celebrating the holiday. Authorities also say a dragging trailer chain or hot car exhaust could set alight bone-dry brush and grass.
14 arrested for entering and refusing to leave an evacuation zone
On June 30, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office arrested 14 people after they entered and refused to leave the Lava Fire evacuation zone around the Mount Shasta Vista Subdivision.
One person who was arrested allegedly pushed a county employee with a vehicle and then ran a roadblock.
The sheriff's office did not say whether the 14 people trying to enter the area were residents of the subdivision, but did say that the actions of these individuals "can slow down the progress for full fire containment and interferes with safety measures."
Accounts to follow for updates:
According to Cal Fire, 2020 was one of the most severe fire seasons on record as 9,917 wildfires burned 4.2 million acres. Over 9,000 structures were destroyed, and 31 people (civilians and firefighters) were killed.
California also experienced its first "Gigafire" because of the August Complex Fire, burning over 1 million acres by itself. Four of California's top five largest wildfires in state history happened in 2020.
If you live in a wildfire-prone zone, Cal Fire suggests creating a defensible space around your home. Defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation and other debris are completely cleared. At least 100 feet is recommended.
The Department of Homeland Security suggests assembling an emergency kit that has important documents, N95 respirator masks, supplies to grab with you if you’re forced to leave at a moment’s notice. The agency also suggests signing up for local warning system notifications and know your community’s evacuation plans best to prepare yourself and your family in cases of wildfires.
Some counties use Nixle alerts to update residents on severe weather, wildfires, and other news. To sign up, visit www.nixle.com or text your zip code to 888777 to start receiving alerts.
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