Light rain and increased humidity have helped fire fighters start to get a handle on two wildfires that are currently threatening more than 700 homes in Northern California – but residents are far from out of the woods yet. CBS News reports that the Eiler Fire in Lassen National Forest has burned through nearly 45 square miles to timber and is in sight of the Shasta County community of Burney, where it threatens 700 homes – though it didn’t grow overnight on Aug. 4 and remains four miles away from the town. The nearby Bald Fire, which is the larger of the two fires, has forced the evacuation of about a dozen homes after burning through a total of 62 square miles of forest.
Currently the Elier Fire is 10 to 20 percent contained, while the Bald Fire is 20 to 30 percent contained. This news, along with the presence of 1,000 forest fire fighters from all over the country has brightened the spirits of area residents who saw the fires expanding rapidly through drought-stricken, parched land just days before. Emergency measures included the evacuation of a 49-bed annex for patients with dementia and other conditions at the local Mayers Memorial Hospital.
Both fires were started by lightning and are just a part of a vigorous wildfire season in the Western United States this year. These two fires are amongst a dozen in California alone that have burned as much as 209 square miles of forest in the state – requiring roughly 7,500 fire fighters to tackle them. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Saturday because the circumstance and magnitude of the fires were beyond the control of any single local government and required the combined forces of all regions to combat, according to CBS News.
Via CBS News