Northern California residents were forced to evacuate after the Lava Fire exploded more than 12,000 acres, burning brush and timber in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
Officials reported that the blaze grew from 1,446 acres on Monday to a massive wildfire spanning 13,300 acres on Tuesday night, burning between the city of Weed and Mt. Shasta.
Massive Lava Fire
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said the fire was 19% contained on the same day. The department also revealed there were about 800 firefighters working tirelessly to combat the blaze.
Last Thursday, residents observed multiple fires sparked by lightning during mountain thunderstorms which included the Lava Fire. The Tennant Fire and Beswick Fire, two other fires ignited by the weather phenomenon, were not as large as the Lava Fire. Officials placed the entire area under a red flag warning due to having high wind and low humidity conditions and temperatures ranging from 100 to 110 degrees.
On Friday afternoon, fire officials thought they successfully put out the fire until some residents observed smoke coming from the direction of the original blaze about four hours later. During a town hall meeting on Monday, Todd Mack, a Shasta Trinity National Forest Fire Management Officer, said the new fire appeared outside the fire line.
On Twitter, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the Federal Emergency Management Association provided the state with a Fire Management Assistance Grant that would support officials in fighting the Lava Fire, USA Today reported.
Lake Shastina is home to about 3,000 people while as many as 8,000 others live nearby caring for thousands of marijuana plants growing. “All evacuation orders are still in place at this time. We do not know what structures have burned down and the status of many areas,” said the sheriff’s office on Tuesday.