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Crews Make Progress In Lake County Fires Amid Triple Digit Heat

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Flames seen from above the Wye wildfire in Lake County. (CBS)

Flames seen from above the Wye wildfire in Lake County. (CBS)

WILLIAMS, Lake County (CBS SF) — Two wildfires burning in Lake County have consumed about 7,000 acres and were 30 percent contained, Cal Fire officials said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of evacuees have been allowed to return home as crews continued to make progress against the fires which have grown to about 5 square miles.

State fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said Tuesday that firefighters battling the blaze were
still facing dry conditions and triple-digit temperatures that could hamper their efforts.

The Wye Fire in the area of state highways 20 and 23 and the Walker Fire, which was burning along the Colusa County border near state Highway 20 and Walker Ridge Road, were expected to be fully contained by Monday.

The fires, which both started on Sunday, are now being collectively referred to as the Wye Fire.

The response includes nearly 1,100 firefighters, seven air tankers, seven helicopters, 17 bulldozers and 134 fire engines, according to Cal Fire.

Homes in the Spring Valley subdivision, Old Long Valley and New Long Valley areas were still within the active fire area, but the threat has been reduced, Cal Fire said.

Evacuation orders in the Spring Valley area have been lifted, and the evacuation center at Clearlake Senior Center is being closed Tuesday, Cal Fire officials said.

The fire is still threatening two power transmission lines that serve Ukiah and the Bureau of Land Management Wilderness Area, Cal Fire said.

No injuries have been reported, but two structures have been destroyed. The cause of the fires remained under investigation.

Meanwhile in far Northern California, the Chips Fire in the Plumas National Forest was threatening about 900 homes and has prompted some evacuation orders in the Seneca and Rush Creek communities.

The fire has burned about 57 square miles. It is 12 percent contained.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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