The Lava Fire continues to grow north of Mount Shasta as winds pushed it to approximately 710 acres on Sunday afternoon with 25 percent containment. The Siskiyou County Sheriff has alerted residents of Weed to prepare to evacuate if the situation worsens.
The fire began during a lightning storm in the Shasta Trinity National Forest earlier in the week and is being pushed by dry fuel conditions in the area. While the exact size of the fire has yet to be determined, recent infrared mapping shows it grew to more than 700 acres on Sunday, nearly tripling in size in 24 hours.
The #LavaFire continues to crank out an impressive pyrocumulus plume that has reached up to 25,000 feet at times, but luckily the fire does not seem to spreading at a critical rate. #CAwx #CAfire pic.twitter.com/Md4NeeSw4s— US StormWatch (@US_Stormwatch) June 27, 2021
“We need a really good perimeter so they (firefighters) understand what the conditions are, where they’re going to be working,” Spokesperson for Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Adrienne Freeman, said. “So we use infrared mapping combined with field observations in order to build those really accurate maps.”
Aerial firefighting has been a crucial tool during the Lava Fire, with four air tankers working non-stop to assist with firefighters on the ground. On two separate occasions, unauthorized drones were flying in the area, briefly halting the air operations.
“Federal, state, and local wildland fire management agencies and the Federal Aviation Administration urge members of the public not to fly “Unmanned Aircraft Systems” or drones over or near wildfires,” said the U.S. Forest Service in a statement “Unauthorized drone flights pose serious risks to firefighter and public safety and the effectiveness of wildfire suppression operations.”
We will continue to update the situation as more information is made available.