Among the 12 major wildfires currently burning across the state, two fresh ones were sparked in the last two days: the Courtney Fire, burning not far from the recent Junction Fire near Oakhurst in Madera County; and the Boles Fire, just sparked Monday afternoon in the town of Weed, at the base of Mount Shasta. A total of 6,000 firefighters are now battling fires statewide in this crispy, drought-plagued fire season.
According to CalFire, the Courtney Fire began Sunday afternoon just outside Oakhurst and has burned 320 acres near the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. It burned fast toward Bass Lake and has already destroyed 33 residences, 28 outbuildings, and 13 vehicles. It is now 40% contained but could still threaten more structures approximately 600 people in 200 homes around Bass Lake were evacuated.
Meanwhile, way up north by the Oregon border along Boles Creek in the town of Weed in Siskiyou County, the Boles Fire began Monday afternoon at 1:38 p.m. and due to high winds in the area, it raced through town and destroyed at least 100 buildings and counting. As Allison Giannini of the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department told the AP, "blowing embers started spot fires as much as a half-mile ahead of the fire front, and evacuations were called for about 1,500 to 2,000 people." Essentially the entire of town of Weed was evacuated as 40-mph winds stoked the flames through this lumber town, but most of those evacuation orders have now been lifted. The Boles Fire is now 20 percent contained and 1,068 fire personnel are on the scene. No injuries have been reported.
As CalFire alerts us, fire danger remains high around the state, with Red Flag Warnings in effect through tonight for Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties due to hot temperatures and low humidity. Also, a Fire Weather Watch is in effect for strong winds and low humidity in most of Siskiyou, Lassen, and Modoc counties.