Lava Fire on Monday: 70% containment, evacuation order downgraded to warning

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald
Mount Shasta's Lindsey Moglia gives her husband, Kevin Moglia, a kiss goodbye as he heads out to fight the Lava Fire Sunday evening, July 4, 2021. Kevin, a firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service in McCloud, is working nights and has been able to return home to sleep during the day, said Lindsey. Also pictured is 16-month-old Colton.

Fire officials estimate they'll have the Lava Fire burning near Weed and Mount Shasta totally contained one week from today.

The Lava Fire, burning near Weed and Mount Shasta, is now 70% contained and as of Monday morning was 24,974 acres. The estimated date of containment is July 12 and more than 1,400 people are working on the blaze.

Siskiyou County residents who were evacuated due to the Lava Fire were able to return home in time for the holiday yesterday after the evacuation order was downgraded to a warning.

The Lava Fire as of Monday morning, July 5, 2021.

Much of the remaining heat is isolated to the upper reaches of Diller Canyon, Whitney Creek and the Bolam area, the U.S. Forest Service said in their July 5 morning update. "Crews, engines and equipment will continue to grid for heat and mop up along control lines while being supported by aircraft. They remain vigilant and continue to monitor for any spot fires that need attention."

There has been no additional fire growth in the Hotlum area, where the fire moved into lava flows, according to the update, and mop up efforts continue in the Graham Creek area. 

Smoke is still visible in the Bolam Creek area, west of Mt. Shasta, though the fire has stayed within control lines.  

A group of grateful Siskiyou County residents gathered at College of the Siskiyous to support firefighters as they returned from and left for shifts to fight the Lava Fire on Sunday evening, July 4, 2021. Firefighters wore big smiles, honked and waved back at the crowd in appreciation. Others, like the firefighter pictured, offered children pins, bracelets and other trinkets kept in their engines. The event was organized by Mount Shasta City Councilor Tessa Montgomery.

A new fire was discovered in the Sand Flat area, south of the Lava Incident on Sunday, and firefighters with the local Shasta Trinity National Forest quickly extinguished the fire, which was isolated to a single tree.

Cooler weather held firefighters secure line around the fire, leading to "diminished likelihood of spread" in areas where it threatened populated areas. Minimal fire activity was observed overnight on Sunday as interior pockets continued to burn and smolder, according to Inciweb.

Because of the difficult terrain and pockets of lava, mop up is slow, the U.S. Forest Service said. 

Mt. Shasta could barely be seen through the smoke Sunday evening from College of the Siskiyous, where firefighters battling the Lava Fire set up their sleeping quarters.

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation, lifelong Siskiyou County resident.