Most Viewed Stories
UPDATE: Mill Fire spreads into Glenn County
Hot spots flaring in front of the main fire has created new problems for firefighters trying to get a grip on the blaze in Mendocino National Forest.
The Mill Fire has spread from Colusa County into Glenn County, consuming at the last official report Tuesday morning, more than 13,000 acres.
However, officials believe that total has grown, possibly doubled.
A Tehama County crew was part of a state Office of Emergency Services strike team. On Monday that group was sent in to protect some of the 50 homes that have been threatened.
No homes have been lost, one outbuilding was burned down and two firefighters have sustained minor injuries during the event, which started about 3 p.m. Saturday near the Mill Valley Campground in the Mendocino National Forest in western Colusa County.
The communities of Letts Lake, Bonnie View and Board Camp Springs have been evacuated, and the fringe areas of Stonyford and Fouts Springs are under voluntary evacuation because of the blaze.
Adrienne Freeman, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Forestry, said about 100 homes have been evacuated in the mandatory areas, but how many people have left in the voluntary zones is not clear.
Jeff Blade watched from his brother-in-law’s home east of Stonyford Monday as the dark clouds of smoke rose above Goat Mountain and the foothills west of town.
His home is on the other side of the small township, and in line with the path of the fire.
“We have burnt pine needles and oak leaves falling all around our place, but we are still quite a ways from the fire,” said Blade, who was helping his family move down the hill.
Blade said he and some of his family were in San Diego and returned home Sunday. They could see the flames from Williams.
The fire has since spread into the Rail Canyon area of Glenn County. Exactly how many acres are involved is not clear, Freeman said.
Glenn County sheriff’s personnel and other emergency crews are monitoring the fire from various areas to report any change of direction in the fire.
Those shifts can happen quickly as firefighters learned Sunday.
Forest officials said the blaze “blew right through a containment line” as swirling winds wreak havoc on efforts to get the fire under control.
More than 900 firefighters are assigned to battle the blaze.
A second fire – which has divided into three branches – also burns in western Colusa County.
The Sites Fire, which sparked about 2 p.m. Sunday, has burned nearly 4,000 acres, but officials are saying unofficially, they have all but contained the blaze.
Officially, only 50 percent of the fire is contained.
The causes of the fires are unknown, but investigators were already on scene at the Sites Fire trying to determine what sparked the blaze.
Five outbuildings are threatened by the Sites Fire, but no homes, and there have been no injuries reported.