Containment of the Caldwell blaze at the Siskiyou-Modoc county line increased to 45% compared to 40% on Wednesday.

Firefighters battling the Caldwell Fire in the Modoc National Forest are getting help from a unique fire train that rolled in on the tracks.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. has sent its fire-fighting train on rails that shoots water stored in large tanks from powerful hoses.

“I guess it was a pretty impressive operation,” fire spokesman Don Ferguson said Thursday.

Caldwell Fire

Fire crews reported progress Thursday as they were able to increase containment of the Caldwell Fire burning in the July Complex as well as at the two large Lassen County wildfires — the Gold and Hog fires.

Containment of the Caldwell blaze at the Siskiyou-Modoc county line increased to 45% compared to 40% on Wednesday.

The Gillem Fire, which was burning to the northeast, has now merged with the Caldwell Fire for a combined 79,316 acres.

More smoke could be seen Wednesday as crews continued setting backfires to improve control lines, fire officials said.

On the fire’s north side, some wetlands burned on the south edge of Tule Lake but firefighters were able to keep flames out of farm fields.

The west side of the fire is holding because the Lassen Volcanic Scenic Byway, known as the 49 Road, is serving as a fire break.

More smoke was expected Thursday as crews continue burning operations and pockets of tall grass and brush burn within the fire’s interior.

While firefighters are making progress, they’re up against hot, dry and gusty winds. A red flag warning is expected to last until 8 p.m. Friday.

“Long-term weather trends are forecast to remain sunny, hot, dry, breezy and unstable,” fire officials said.

Both the Lava Beds National Monument and Medicine Lake Recreation Area remain closed.

Two other lightning-caused fires in the July Complex, the 1,367-acre Dalton Fire and the 1,035-acre Allen Fire, are both 100% contained and soon will be in monitor-only status.

The July Complex overall has 1,695 personnel assigned with 103 engines, 23 dozers, 30 water tenders and 14 helicopters available.

Gold Fire

Fire officials said Thursday morning all containment lines were holding and containment slightly increased to 75% from 70% on Wednesday.

Firefighters plan to reinforce and patrol those lines and extinguish hot spots inside the fire's boundary.

Crews will be keeping watch as low humidity and potentially gusty winds may fan the flames.

Areas remain under evacuation orders with some residents receiving evacuation warnings.

Size: 21,870 acres (no change)

Containment: 75%

Location: Highway 139 and County Road A-2, south of Adin, in northern Lassen County

Start date: July 20

Cause: Under investigation

Evacuation orders, warnings and road closures are listed at https://bit.ly/3hHyhQX

Damage: 13 structures destroyed; five structures damaged

Injuries: 3

Personnel and equipment: 1,965 people, 45 crews, 140 engines, 11 helicopters, 44 water tenders, 25 dozers.

Klamath National Forest

Some 35 fires have been spotted in the Klamath National Forest since widespread lightning hit the area earlier this week, the U.S. Forest Service said Wednesday night.

All but six of the fires have been contained or extinguished, and there has been one injury.

Firefighters are facing hot, dry conditions while they battle the flames in steep terrain, officials said.

The Little Soda Fire on the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District grew to about 50 acres.

A new fire started Wednesday afternoon off Highway 96, three miles downriver from Horse Creek. The 96 Fire was about 5 acres. Motorists are asked to use caution when driving through the area.

 Mike Chapman is a reporter and photographer for the Record Searchlight in Redding, Calif. His newspaper career spans Yreka and Eureka in Northern California and Bellingham, Wash.