16 Complex Fire races past 3,000 acres | News
COLUSA COUNTY, CA - The 16 Complex Fire exploded past 3,000 acres Wednesday, more than tripling in size in 24 hours.
The fire began Tuesday afternoon and the cause is under investigation.
Windy conditions and steep, narrow canyons are making for a difficult battle for firefighters in the air and on the ground.
"Our crews are really having to hike in as well. Rumsey Canyon is really well-known for having some very large fires just because it is so inaccessible and the is so thick and so dry," Cal Fire spokesperson Daniel Berlant explained.
Berlant said firefighters must wait for the right time and place to safely attack; for now, that's been all but impossible with the fire just five to ten percent contained.
Conditions are expected to stay difficult well into Thursday.
"A Red Flag warning remains in effect due to the fact that fire danger is extreme with the possibility of additional dry lightning and gusty winds," Berlant said.
The Cortina Rancheria Indian community has been told they may have to evacuate if the fire keeps burning to the north.
Berlant cautioned residents across the state that it's now too late in the fire season to safely clear defensible space because it is now so easy to touch off a fire using a lawn mower or weed eater.
"This is the time when people need to be focusing on evacuation warnings, where to go and what to take if you do have to leave," Berlant said. "It's too late to do defensible space this late in the year."