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Crews Making Progress In Colusa County Fires

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COLUSA COUNTY (AP) — Firefighters made progress in battling several blazes burning thousands of acres across California as a heat wave showed some signs of peaking late Tuesday.

A pair of wildfires several miles apart in rural Colusa County that have scorched more than 20,000 acres and left two firefighters with heat-related injuries grew larger, but additional firefighters arriving to help out were able to increase containment levels on the fires.

A fire in the Mendocino National Forest that has burned some 16,000 acres kept campgrounds closed and a handful of homes under evacuation, but an increase in humidity was helping firefighters make progress in trying to contain the fire, Michelle Puckett, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management, said late Tuesday.

“The fire will burn actively tonight, but firefighters are going to try to take advantage of the weather,” said Puckett as more than 1,100 firefighters battled the blaze. The fire is now 30 percent contained.

Just several miles to the east, crews at a fire near the farming community of Maxwell were also making progress.

The fire has consumed about 4,100 acres and was 60 percent contained, CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant said late Tuesday.

The more than 1,300 firefighters battling the blaze expected to have the fire surrounded sometime Friday.

Although the fire came close to a few ranches, no structures are currently threatened.

Berlant said that while the winds have died down, crews still struggled during the day with triple-digit temperatures, single-digit humidity and very dry conditions.

“The hard work we did really put out many of those hot spots on the flank of the fire,” he said.

Both fires saw their reported sizes more than double Monday, though fire officials said much of the increase was due to better measurements after aircraft flyovers.

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