Firefighting, Wildland Firefighting

Northern California Fire Grows to 28 Square Miles

Good weather aided the more than 1,300 firefighters as they strengthened containment lines at a massive wildfire burning across two Northern California counties, reports The Associated Press.

The Sixteen Complex fire was being managed as one blaze even though it is actually two separate fires burning within a few miles of each other in Colusa and Yolo counties. It had consumed 26 square miles in total but grew to nearly 18,000 acres–or just over 28 square miles–by Saturday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire said.

It was 71 percent contained.

No structures were destroyed or damaged, although officials said earlier that nearly two dozen homes and several outbuildings were under threat. An evacuation advisory for the nearby Cortina Indian Rancheria was lifted, allowing residents to return home. Parts of Highway 16 were reopened by evening as crews made progress on the fire that started Tuesday.

Department spokesman Daniel Berlant said firefighters had been contending with wind and low humidity in a rugged terrain of grasslands, brush and oak trees about 60 miles northwest of Sacramento.

“These past couple of days we’ve seen an increase in the temperatures as well as the winds,” Berlant said.

Resources at the fire included four bulldozers, an air tanker and five helicopters, state fire officials said. As crews gained control of the fire, some of those resources would be sent to several other blazes burning in Northern California.

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