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Progress reported against two major wildfires burning in Northern California

Smoke from the Hog Fire is seen from Highway 36 west of Susanville, California
Smoke rises from the Hog fire west of Susanville in Lassen County.
(Anjeanette Damon / Reno Gazette-Journal)

Firefighters on Friday continued to make progress against two major wildfires burning in Lassen County, northeast of Sacramento, officials said.

The 19,000-acre Gold fire was 35% contained as of early Friday, up from 15% the day before, said spokesman Jeff LaRusso of the Riverside County Fire Department, which is assisting Cal Fire in fighting the fire. He said weather conditions were still working against firefighters.

“We’re looking at the dry fuels, we’re looking at the increased temperatures and the decreasing humidity levels,” LaRusso said. Winds are pushing the fire north toward Cal Pines, he said.

The fire, which began Monday, has destroyed seven homes, with another 25 at risk, he said. Evacuation orders and other warnings are posted on Cal Fire’s Gold fire page.

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Two firefighters treated at a hospital after being injured earlier in the week have been released, LaRusso said. More than 1,300 personnel from throughout the state are continuing to battle the blaze, he said.

“Our aircraft are trying to get up in the air early in the morning and do as many retardant drops parallel to the fire to pitch it down,” LaRusso said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, the Hog fire, burning about five miles west of Susanville, has burned about 9,540 acres and was 38% contained as of Friday morning, said Cal Fire spokeswoman Cecile Juliette. The fire, currently at 9,540 acres, has been 38% contained, up from 35% on Thursday night, she said.

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“They did make progress overnight,” she said.

There are more than 2,400 personnel on the scene, Juliette added. She said weather conditions still pose a threat.

“Warm weather and dry conditions may increase the risk of fire activity in the areas that are already smoldering,” she said.

The fire, which started Saturday, has burned two structures and led to several evacuation orders, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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An evacuation order was lifted for the Lake Forest community Thursday, Juliette said.

Californians who live in areas vulnerable to wildfires should heed recommendations on Cal Fire’s preparedness site, she said.

“Now is the time everybody really needs to be fire safe because things are drying out,” she said.


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