Erratic winds and dry fuel conditions pushed the Lava Fire near Mount Shasta to double in size overnight, growing from 710 to 1,446 acres. Containment dropped from 25 to 20 percent.
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. Winds are expected to pick up in the afternoon although current forecasts show them pushing the flames away from heavily populated areas. There are currently no new evacuations. The fire is currently burning 3.5 miles northeast of Weed and 4.5 miles southeast of Lake Shastina.
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.