Lava Fire updates: Flames 'moving quick' on high winds; new Tennant Fire is 200 acres

Skye Kinkade Bill Choy
Mount Shasta Herald

6 p.m.: Red Cross opens shelter in Yreka

The Red Cross has opened an evacuation shelter at Jackson Street Elementary School, 405 Jackson St., Yreka, CA 96097 in response to the Lava Fire.

Volunteers are on hand to provide evacuees with food, water and a safe place to sleep, according to a press release. Red Cross services are free and available to all.

In addition, emergency animal shelters are available for those who have evacuated or are under evacuation warnings, according to Siskiyou County Animal Control.

  • Dogs can go to Rescue Ranch in Yreka, 2216 Oberlin Road.
  • Livestock and cats can go to Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds, 1712 Fairlane Road in Yreka.

Call 530-841-4028 with questions about animal shelters.

Two new fires start in Siskiyou County: Tennant Fire, Beswick Fire

The Tennant Fire is on Tennant Road east of Highway 97, according to the Siskiyou County Office of Emergency. The fire, in the Klamath National Forest, was reported at 5:45 p.m. Extreme burning behavior is burning toward the highway, OES said.

The Tennant Fire was likely caused by a car fire that spread to nearby vegetation, according to emergency scanner traffic. It's estimated to be burning 200 acres about a half hour west from the Lava Fire.

A fire is reported to be burning in the area of Ager Beswick Road and Tiger Street near Bogus Mountain. The size of the Beswick Fire is not yet known. It is burning about an hour north of the Lava Fire.

A vegetation fire at the north end of Mt. Eddy has been identified. At this time, it appears to be a single tree, likely a lightning holdover from Thursday. Scanner traffic indicates smoke jumpers are en route, as well as a helicopter to drop water.

4:05 p.m.: Section of Highway 97 closes

Officials have closed High 97 between the city of Weed and the Juniper Lodge on the highway.

The closure affects about 30 miles of highway between, according to Shasta-Trinity National Forest officials.

3:40 p.m.: Fire is 'moving quick,' Siskiyou OES says

The Siskiyou County Office of Emergency Services said on its Facebook page that the Lava Fire is "moving quick" on heavy winds. 

"Do not hesitate to evacuate," OES warned.

Update 3:05 p.m. – Mt. Shasta Vista subdivision and others added to evacuation order

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office has issued more mandatory evacuation orders, this time for the Mt. Shasta Vista subdivision, County Road A-12 both north and south, and Harry Cash Road (four corners to Hart Road).

Update 2:20 p.m. – Siskiyou fire departments requested for structure projection 

Engines from fire departments all over Siskiyou County are being requested to respond to the Weed Fire Department for structure protection in the Lake Shastina area, according to emergency scanner traffic.

Update, 2:08 p.m. – Temporary evacuation site established

A temporary evacuation site has been established at Big Springs Elementary School, Caltrans District 2 reported on their Facebook page.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office asked people needing assistance to dial 2-1-1.

The College of the Siskiyous on their Facebook page announced their Weed campus would be evacuated and there will be no more classes for the remainder of the day.

Update, 1:30 p.m. – Lake Shastina under mandatory evacuation order after fire jumps west over Highway 97

Lake Shastina residents are being asked to leave their homes as of 1:10 p.m. on Monday under a mandatory evacuation order due to the Lava Fire, according to the Lake Shastina Fire Department and the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office.

Residents on the north side of Hoy Road, north along Highway 97 to County Road A-12, the communities of Lake Shastina and Juniper Valley off Big Springs Road from Highway 97 to McDonald Lane, both sides of Big Springs Road.

According to the California Highway Patrol's traffic incident information page, a spot fire has jumped Highway 97, just south of the junction with Big Springs Road.

"Please do not hesitate, and evacuate with caution," the Lake Shastina Fire Department advised in a Facebook post.

Highway 97 is now closed from Weed to Macdoel, CHP spokesperson Officer Chris Tuggle.

Meanwhile, Congressman Doug LaMalfa said his office is in touch with Cal Fire and the Forest Service regarding the fire.

"We are doing our best to make sure there is no bureaucratic red tape standing in the way of getting the equipment and personnel they need to extinguish the fires quickly," LaMalfa said in a statement. "We shouldn’t be taking any chances this year (or any year) with letting these fires burn."

Update, 11:40 a.m. – Lake Shastina, A-12 residents on evacuation warning due to Lava Fire

More evacuation warnings have been issued due to the Lava Fire Monday afternoon for residents on the north side of Hoy Road, north along Highway 97 to County Road A-12, 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.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office made the announcement, which means that people should be ready to evacuate their homes. 

Carrick, Angel Valley and the Solus Drive areas remain on an evacuation warning as of Monday at 11:30 a.m.

Original story

Management of the lightning-caused Lava Fire burning near Weed was transitioned Monday morning to a state interagency incident management team. South winds are expected to pick up today, increasing chances of the now 1,446 acre blaze spreading to the north.

Strong, erratic winds on Sunday caused the Lava Fire to grow dramatically yesterday, from 220 acres in the morning, with spread to the north and east, away from Weed, Carrick and Lake Shastina, according to a press release from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest Monday morning.

As of 8 a.m., no new evacuations were issued, and no structures have been damaged or destroyed, the Forest Service said. Firefighters are challenged by double-digit temperatures and steep rocky terrain with limited access. In addition, there are limited water sources close to the fire, the Forest Service reported, so water is being flown in from Lake Shastina.

A map of the Lava Fire as of Sunday evening, June 27, 2021, provided by the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Weed High School will be utilized as a base camp for firefighters, said Weed Mayor Sue Tavalero, and the Weed Community Center is being used for daytime sleeping in an air conditioned room.

Firefighters reported that the fire remained active overnight Sunday, especially on its northern edge. Good progress was made building line on that section, the Forest Service said, and the fire was helod north and east of the railroad tracks.  

"Today, priorities will include scouting opportunities for containment to the north, and holding the constructed lines to the south and west, cutting off fire progression into the communities," according to the press release. 

Several temporary water tanks will be installed to assist firefighters in supplying engines and aircraft with water, the Forest Service said.