Lightning-caused fires spread during hot California weather

Northern California fires
Northern California fires Saturday morning, August 2, 2014. The red icons represent heat that was detected by a satellite over the last 24 hours. (Click to enlarge.)

Firefighters in northern California are battling fires that were started after almost 1,000 lightning strikes hammered the area this week. High temperatures that reached 108 degrees in Redding on Friday contributed to some of the significant spread of the fires.

Brief descriptions of some of the fires submitted by fire managers included words and phrases like “extreme fire behavior with wind-driven runs and long-range spotting”; “running with torching and long-range spotting”; “running with torching and crowning”; “crowning”; “active fire behavior with crowning”; and”structures threatened”.

Bald and Day Fires
Bald Fire with the Day Fire in the background. July 31, 2014. InciWeb photo.

Some of the larger and more active fires in northern California:

  • Day Fire, 12 miles north of McArthur, evacuations in effect, 12,500 acres.
  • Bald Fire, 9 miles northeast of Hat Creek, evacuations in effect, 17,977 acres.
  • Eiler Fire, 6 miles northwest of Old Station; evacuations in effect; the fire crossed Highway 89, which is now closed; 6,932 acres.
  • White Fire, (part of the July Complex) 7 miles southeast of Sawyers Bar, 2,500 acres.
  • Beaver Complex, 18 mile southeast of Ashland, Oregon. Most of this complex is the 11,524-acre Oregon Gulch Fire that burned across the Oregon/California border. It grew by 6,623 acres on Friday.

In central California on the Sierra National Forest 18 miles east of Oakhurst, the French Fire has burned 11,466 acres in steep, rugged terrain. The 4,689-acre El Portal Fire outside Yosemite Valley continues to spread to the north approaching Highway 120.