SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — More firefighters have arrived to help as crews struggle to contain a massive wildfire in Colusa County.
The 16 Complex fire, which is being managed as one blaze but is actually two separate ones burning within a few miles of each other, was threatening 23 homes and several outbuildings, fire officials said Saturday. Cal Fire reports evacuations for Cortina Indian Rancheria will be lifted at 5 p.m. Saturday, and Highway 16 will be reopened.
Since the fires broke out Tuesday, they have consumed more than 26 square miles, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Daniel Berlant.
Firefighters were working against gusty winds and low humidity in a rugged terrain of grasslands, brush and oak trees about 60 miles northwest of Sacramento, Berlant said.
“These past couple of days we’ve seen an increase in the temperatures as well as the winds,” Berlant said.
The fires were one of several burning in Northern California. To the west, in Mendocino County, a fire that’s been burning since Aug. 18 near the tiny community of Covelo was 81 percent contained after scorching more than 65 square miles.
Twenty-six structures have been destroyed and four have been damaged, officials said.
Also in far Northern California, a wildfire in remote Trinity County was 15 percent contained after burning nearly four square miles. The residents of about 75 homes spread across a rural area near the town of Hayfork have been ordered to evacuate, though fire crews were making progress against the blaze, officials said.
“Things are much better (Saturday) than they been in the last few days,” said fire spokesman Jim Mackensen. “Today the fire is kind of behaving itself.”
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.