Mendocino Forest Wildfire Spreads To 16,800 Acres

WILLITS (CBS / AP) — Federal fire officials said crews are making progress in slowing the growth of a wildfire in the Mendocino National Forest.

Fire information officer Deb Schweizer said the so-called Mill Fire expanded by about 800 acres Wednesday. Since it was first reported on Saturday it has consumed 16,800 acres, or a little more than 26 square miles.

The blaze is 38 percent contained.

Schweizer said the more than 1,500 firefighters on the scene are working in extremely steep and rugged terrain.

Officials said an air quality alert issued because of the heavy smoke in the area remains in effect. The flames have already led to campground closures and a voluntary evacuation of some homes in the tiny community of Stonyford.

The cause of the fire still has not been determined. Crews are also battling a separate blaze several miles to the east in Colusa County.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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