California Wildfire Destruction Gradually Winds Down (For Now)

The worst of California's summer blazes are nearly contained but two have a ways to go.

Firefighters have the worst of the state’s wildfires from this summer under lock but have much headway to make on two more fires that recently sprung up.

Mendocino, Lake, and Colusa counties may soon have a smoke-less breather when the Ranch Fire — the latest to break the state record for largest wildfire — is 98 percent contained. Making up the second part of the Mendocino Complex fire is the River Fire, which is 100 percent contained.

Together, the fires burned through more than 459,000 acres, in which 157 residences and 123 structures were destroyed. One firefighter died in the effort to extinguish the blaze.

The largest fire still burning is the Hirz Fire near Redding, which began on Aug. 9 and is 70 percent contained. It has burned through more than 46,000 acres of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest but Cal Fire estimates that will come to an end on Sunday.

Campers who headed to Tahoe National Forest for Labor Day weekend are well aware of the North Fire, which began on Monday and has grown to nearly 1,000 acres since then. Much of the Interstate 80 was backed up as campers brought their trip to a smoky close.

The fire near the North Fork Campground south of Emigrant Gap is just 10 percent contained and is expected to run north and east.

Evacuations in El Dorado County are in place for another nearby fire, which began on Tuesday. The Sliger Fire has burned 80 acres near the American River so far and is 30 percent contained. The cause is under investigation.

Evidently, firefighters won’t have much of the summer left to enjoy.

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