SISKIYOU COUNTY (CBS SF) — A wind-whipped, raging wildfire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest exploded in growth overnight, burning buildings near a subdivision and triggering a frightening firenado — a column of flames soaring hundreds of feet in the air.
Strong winds on Monday caused the blaze to grow to nearly 5,000 acres and overnight the flames to advance through the tinder-dry forests and brush in the wilderness area as the burn zone grew exponentially to 13,330 acres. The blaze was 20 percent contained.
The Lava Fire near Mount Shasta in Northern California.
The fire quickly expanded yesterday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/MkETNiebP9
— CIRA (@CIRA_CSU) June 29, 2021
Video showed a desperate firefight overnight near the evacuated Mt. Shasta Vista Subdivision with buildings on fire.
The intensity of the blaze also triggered a fireando created when smoke, fire and dirt are whipped together, creating a rotation vortex of flames above the blaze.
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The Lava Fire is one of four wildfires sparked by lightning last Friday, and is the only one of the four still burning in rough, rocky terrain 3.5 miles northeast of the town of Weed and 4.5 miles southeast of Lake Shastina.
Cal Fire and local fire resources including ground crews and aircraft battled the fire through the weekend, but it grew enough to force the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office to issue the evacuation orders Monday afternoon.
The communities of Lake Shastina and Juniper Valley off Big Springs Road from Highway 97 to McDonald Lane on both east and west sides of Big Springs Road as well as residents on the north side of Hoy Road, north along Highway 97 to County Road A-12 were ordered to evacuate at 1:15 p.m.
An additional evacuation order for the Mount Shasta Vista Subdivision, County Road A-12 north and south and Harry Cash Road from 4 Corners to Hart Road was issued at about 2:30 p.m.
The sheriff’s office said a Temporary Evacuation Point has been established at Big Springs Elementary School at 7405 County Hwy A12 in the town of Montague. Residents are instructed to dial 211 for information and assistance.
CHP has also shut down Highway 97.
The Cal Fire Santa Clara Unit tweeted late Monday afternoon that they were sending a strike team to assist crews already working the fire.
— CAL FIRE SCU (@calfireSCU) June 28, 2021
Cal Fire tweeted about two more fires in Siskiyou County Monday evening.
The first fire, called the Tennant Fire, was burning on the east side of the Klamath National Forest near the junction of Highway 97 and the Tennant Road.
The fire is not a Cal Fire incident and was estimated at 200-300 acres in size Monday evening. Multiple resources are on scene from the Klamath National Forest, the Cal Fire Siskiyou Unit and other cooperating agencies. Several aircraft are on scene.
The second fire, called the Beswick Fire, was burning north of Montague and was 15 acres in size.