LAKEHEAD (CBS SF) — Weary firefighters have won a hard fought battle with the Salt Fire, burning in the tinder-dry forest and chaparral brush of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, driving the wall of flames away from homes in the Fenders Ferry area and toward the Sacramento River.

Holiday motorists using I-5 to return home Monday from the July 4th weekend will have a bird’s-eye view of the massive smoke plume from the Salt Fire and also from the Lava and Tennant fires. All three are burning near the major freeway.

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“Evacuation orders and warnings remain in place for communities near the (Salt) fire,” the U.S. Forest Service said in its Monday release. “The (Salt) fire is very visible from Interstate 5 and firefighters ask the public to be extra cautious when driving in the area.”

As of Monday morning, the Salt Fire’s burn zone had grown to 11,693 acres and the blaze was 20% contained. It has been the most destructive of the three fires, destroying 27 homes and 14 outbuildings — mostly in the Gregory Creek Acres neighborhood.

“Yesterday the fire progressed in the northwest area towards Fenders Ferry, but last night crews were able to
guide the fire down towards the Sacramento River in an effort to contain it,” the forest Service said in its news release. “Today firefighters are working to continue the containment effort by bringing bulldozers off of Pollard Flat and working east towards Crane Mountain.”

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Meanwhile, more than 1,000 firefighters have made significant progress battling the Lava Fire over the holiday weekend. On Monday morning, the fire had charred 24,974 acres and was 70 percent contained.

“The (Lava) Fire has spread over the Union Pacific rail lines and reconstruction of damaged trestles has begun,” the forest service said. “The fire remains active, burning pockets of fuels on the northwest facing slopes of Mt. Shasta.”

The Tennant Fire, meanwhile, has burned 10,541 acres and was at 51 percent containment. The blaze has burned five buildings, including two homes, and threatened several hundred more.

“Hot, dry, and unstable conditions are expected to continue for the upcoming week,” the forest service said. “An increase in southwesterly winds is expected on Tuesday which will result in a potential for critical fire weather conditions due to critically dry and gusty conditions.”

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Currently, there were 768 personnel assigned to fight the Tennant Fire, including 22 hand crews, 47 engines, 14 dozers, 20 water tenders, and 4 helicopters.