USA — Large wildland fires continue to burn around Northern California, destroying homes and infrastructure, scorching tens of thousands of acres, causing evacuations and sending large amounts of smoke into the Lake County air basin.
Over the weekend Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency due to the wildland fires in Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Humboldt, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta and Siskiyou counties.
The proclamation mobilizes the California National Guard to support disaster response.
It also notes that the fires, coupled with the state’s drought conditions, have caused California’s air quality to significantly deteriorate.
That’s true in Lake County, where a heavy smoke haze has been visible since late last week.
As of Sunday night, the Oregon Gulch Fire in Siskiyou County had burned 36,723 acres and was 20 percent contained, fire officials reported.
Shasta County also is the location of major incidents, including the Bald Fire and Eiler Fire. The Bald Fire had burned 39,600 acres and was 5-percent contained by Sunday night. It’s expected to be contained Aug. 17.
The Eiler Fire, burning southeast of Burney, has burned 25,900 acres and is estimated to be fully contained on Aug. 20, officials reported.
The Day Fire in Modoc County, caused by lightning on July 30, has burned 12,850 acres and six structures five of them homes and is 45-percent contained, according to Cal Fire.
In neighboring Mendocino County, the Lodge Complex of lightning fires has burned 2,700 acres, growing by 900 acres since Saturday, Cal Fire said. It is 10-percent contained.
The Lodge Complex is threatening 17 structures and has cost an estimated $2.6 million to fight so far, according to Cal Fire, with 48 fire engines, 28 fire crews, 20 bulldozers, 14 helicopters, 24 water tenders and 908 firefighting personnel.
Cal Fire said the complex which is burning in steep, rugged terrain is continuing to grow due to severe drought conditions and accessibility challenges.
Fire crews are removing dried and dead vegetation around residences in the Horseshoe Bend area, and firefighters will continue to pursue aggressive air and ground tactics, Cal Fire said.