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Three uncontained wildfires burning in Northern California

Today, firefighters were battling three blazes in Northern California from the foothills of the Sierra to the valleys of Mendocino National Forest.  By this evening, the largest fire, the Mill Fire in Colusa County north of Clear Lake had ravaged 29,252 acres of timber and brush was reported to be 67% contained. The fire began on July 7 and has engaged almost 1,700 firefighters.

The Mill fire is near Stonyford in Colusa County and is moving in the direction of Willows and Ukiah. But <Deb> Schweizer <public information officer for the federal incident management team> said the fire “is starting to wrap up. We’re putting in the last line of control.”

The Mill fire was so named because it began next to the Mill Creek Campgrounds.

In Trinity National Forest west of Weaverville (Trinity County), firefighters reported that the Flat Fire, which has burned 1,556 acres since it started Wednesday, is 50 percent contained.

The third fire, the Robbers fire in Placer County, has burned one home and three outbuildings, and is reported (variously) to be 20% contained after burning 2,250 acres, or 30% contained after burning 2,400 acres. Both accounts agreed that the fire burned 150 acres just today! The nearly 2,150 firefighters engaged with the wildfire are equipped with two air tankers and 15 helicopters. Matt Damon, an information officer with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection noted that firefighting efforts were slowed  by steep terrain, limited access and narrow roads. Weather conditions have not helped the effort, with temperatures in the mid-90s Fahrenheit and humidities in the 20% range, at best. Twelve people have been injured in the Robbers fire, with no life-threatening injuries and the most serious injuries involving broken bones.

A small community known as Brush Creek, with a few dozen homes, is still threatened by the Robbers fire. The fire was named after a turnout in the road overlooking the North Fork of the American River. The location is know as Robbers’ Roost because it served as a lookout stage coach robberies in Gold Rush days.

The fire, about three miles northwest of Foresthill, is burning in the Yankee Jims canyon area, which includes Brush Creek Canyon.

Homes off the Yankee Jims Canyon and parts of Iowa Hill have been under evacuation orders. A Red Cross evacuation center was opened in the Foresthill High School gym.

The fire is not threatening Foresthill or Colfax, Berlant said.

-Bill at

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