Lava Fire July 8 update: Smoke is coming from inside containment lines

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald
Smoke can be seen rising from the Lava Fire on Mt. Shasta's flanks from Rancho Hills on the morning of July 8, 2021.

Aircraft will be used to attack the Lava Fire in its most inaccessible areas on Mt. Shasta's flanks today, where there is still heat and visible smoke, said Kerri Gilliland, Ops trainee for California Interagency Incident Management Team 1 on Thursday morning, July 8.

Hot and dry conditions Wednesday, coupled with gusty winds, contributed to more activity on the lightning-caused Lava Fire, according to a morning update from the Shasta Trinity National Forest.

Kerri Gilliland, Ops trainee for California Interagency Incident Management Team 1 during her morning update on the Lava Fire Thursday, July 8, 2021.

The Lava Fire grew just one acre overnight to 25,003 acres and is estimated at 70% containment, the STNF reports. Fire officials project they'll have the fire fully contained on Monday, July 12; 760 firefighters continue to work on the incident.

Twenty structures have been destroyed by the fire, which started June 24 and ripped through Mt. Shasta Vista Subdivision on June 28, including 13 residences, according to the Forest Service. 

More:Retardant drops, burn-ops and pyrocumulonimbus clouds: fighting the Lava Fire explained

More:Firefighter explains difficulty in fighting Lava Fire over dangerous, hot lava tubes

Just west of Mt. Shasta, the terrain is rugged and steep, Gilliland said, so fire crews haven't been able to get on the ground to build direct hand line. However, aircraft will be used to work in the area, all the way to Diller Canyon. Hand crews are working in the Whitney Creek, Graham and Bolam Creek areas to strengthen line and mop up.

Yesterday, the Siskiyou County Office of Emergency Services rescinded all evacuation warnings related to the Lava Fire.

A map of the 20, 003 acre Lava Fire as of the morning of July 8, 2021.

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.