California wildfires update: Lightning storms threaten areas near July Complex, Eiler and Beaver fires

The July Complex Fire
The July Complex Fire
Courtesy Inciweb

Update 6:16 p.m.: Red flag alerts issued for NorCal lightning storms 

Red flag warnings have been issued for areas near the Eiler, Beaver, White and Log fires — as a new storm system develops not far from fires still burning from the last one. 

Cal Fire officials said Monday afternoon that they're taking advantage of the elevated humidity to work on containing hotspots and flare-ups both around the fires' perimeters. 

They're also preparing for new fires, officials said. 

"With the predication of thunder and lightning approaching the area that storm has been compared to a 1987 storm pattern," Tom Piranio, a Cal Fire spokesperson told KPCC. "Cal Fire and other local governments are preparing with resources and staffing to mitigate any kind of new spark."


Fire crews overseeing the White and Log fires said that they are prepared for any new fires that might start due to the lightning storm. 

"We had that same forecast for red flag warning for lighting yesterday, but it did not materialize here," Don Ferguson, an interagency spokesperson told KPCC. "We got the winds and the thunder did develop, but we didn’t get any down strikes. We are kind of hoping that’s the case again today."

Thunder storms have already hit the Beaver Fire in Siskiyou County. Officials have already issued a lightning safety message for crews working to contain the fire. 

"For lightning it’s really hard because lightning can hit anywhere," Rena Escobedo, spokesperson for the National Forest Service said. "We are making sure that crews are safe while the storm is coming in."


— Danielle Tarasuik, KPCC

Update 8:47 a.m.: Fire officials anticipate another day of erratic winds

Fire officials are anticipating another day of erratic winds as they try to gain ground on two wildfires that are threatening nearly 750 rural homes in a far Northern California forest.

The fires are burning about 8 miles apart in dry timber in the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County near the community of Etna. The smaller of the two, the Log Fire, had burned more than 4 1/2 square miles as of Monday morning, but was 25 percent contained.

Log Fire

The July Complex Fire had burned through nearly 19 square miles and was 4 percent contained.

July Complex Fire

Fire spokesman Richard Hadley said the smaller of the blazes was responsible for most of the threatened homes, though crews were getting a handle on it. About six homes have been evacuated. The others are under an evacuation advisory.