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As some evacuation orders were being lifted Sunday for the Mill Fire, which started in Weed, they were being added for the Mountain Fire, about 10 miles to the west.
Mountain is now California’s fourth-largest wildfire of the season, having grown from 4,812 acres on Saturday evening to 8,460 acres (13.2 square miles) on Sunday afternoon. It started late Friday afternoon, a few hours after the Mill Fire.
Most of the Mountain Fire’s growth is now toward the west, into an area of difficult terrain, Justin Macomb of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said at a community meeting Sunday about the Mountain and Mill fires. About 700 homes are threatened in the sparsely populated area of Siskiyou County.
The footprint of the Mill Fire, which burned from near central Weed north to Lake Shastina, has not expanded since around 5:30 a.m. Saturday, CalFire’s Kent Cunningham told the community meeting. It was at 4,254 acres (6.6 square miles) with 25% containment on Sunday afternoon.
Though the gusty winds of Friday have died down, firefighting is hampered by humidity as low as 8% during the day. Winds are forecast to return on Wednesday.
The Zonehaven map above shows the evacuation area in red and the warning area in yellow for the fires. The temporary evacuation point is the Kahtishraam Wellness Center, 1403 Kahtishraam in Yreka, and a cooling center has been set up at College of the Siskiyous, in Weed.
The map below shows the approximate perimeters of the fires.
Siskiyou County also has the state’s biggest wildfire of the year, McKinney, which started July 29 and burned 60,138 acres. Following that are the Six Rivers complex in Humboldt and Trinity counties (41,178 acres), the Oak Fire in Mariposa County (19,244 acres), and the Mountain Fire.
The Mill Fire is close to the area of last summer’s Lava and Tennant wildfires, which started in late June and burned 36,989 acres. The Antelope Fire, which was started by lightning about a month later, burned 145,632 acres in an adjacent area of high desert northeast of Mount Shasta.