Weather Unfavorable on Northern California Fire Lines

July 23, 2020

SUSANVILLE, Calif. — Firefighters and aircraft worked Tuesday to halt the spread of two forest fires in rural northeastern California as unstable weather brought the risk of gusty winds, thunderstorms and lightning strikes that could start new blazes.

The Gold Fire in northern Lassen County increased to 13.3 square miles (34.4 square kilometers) south of the tiny Modoc County community of Adin and it was only 5% contained.

Two firefighters were injured at that blaze Monday and were flown to a hospital in Redding, treated and released. There were no details on what happened, said Alisha Herring, spokeswoman for the

In southern Lassen County, the Hog Fire covered 14 square miles (36.3 square kilometers) about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the town of Susanville and was just 7% contained.

About 170 buildings were threatened and some evacuations were in effect.

High winds from thunderstorms passing over the Sierra Nevada created high winds late Tuesday afternoon, and the fire’s heat and an updraft created a so-called fire cloud of smoke and ash that reached tens of thousands of feet into the sky, Scott McGuire, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Reno, told SFGate.

Rain and lightning were spotted within the clouds, the paper said.

The weather service issued a red flag warning of extreme fire conditions through Wednesday night. High winds and thunderstorms also were expected Wednesday.

In central California, the week-old Mineral Fire was 70% contained after scorching 46.4 square miles (120 square kilometers) and destroying seven structures in the Diablo Range west of Coalinga.

Several smaller wildfires burned elsewhere.

Meanwhile in Nevada, strong winds caused a structure fire to spread into south Reno wildland, threatening more than 100 structures Tuesday and forcing some evacuations before it was brought under control.

Chief Charlie Moore of the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District told the Reno Gazette Journal that tankers and air attack help curtail the blaze to about 120 acres (0.18 square miles or 0.46 square kilometers)

The cause of the fire was under investigation and Moore said he was unaware of any casualties or injuries.

The area remained under evacuation with authorities saying it will be at least six hours before people will be allowed back into the area.

The American Red Cross of Northern Nevada made overnight resources available at the Washoe County Senior Services Center.

About the photo: An air tanker drops retardant as the the Badger Fire burns near Yreka, Calif, on Sunday, July 19, 2020. Several wildfires sparked Sunday throughout Northern California as portions of the region remain under a heat advisory. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

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