California’s Monument Fire surpassed 183,000 acres on Monday as more than 2,000 firefighter work to contain it and some residents are being told to evacuate, according California fire officials.
The fire is burning through northwest California’s Trinity County—east of Eureka. About 37 percent of the fire had been contained Monday, and it is expected to be fully contained November 1, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It remains the third largest wildfire in the state.
It was caused by a lightning strike near Monument Peak July 30. As firefighters battled the blaze Monday, temperatures reached 89 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
The high temperatures, along with a high pressure system expected to bring dry conditions and single-digit humidity, could increase fire activity, according to the forest service.
Crews continued to improve containment lines along Hyampom Road and worked along Pattison Ridge to “keep the fire in check” as it moves downslope on Monday, according to the forest service.
The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office ordered the evacuation of areas along Hyampom Road from Lucky Jeep Trail west to Halfway Ridge on Monday, the office said in a Facebook post. Residents are urged to leave “immediately” and use caution while evacuating the area.
Meanwhile, the long-burning Dixie Fire continued to burn, reaching 910,495 acres. The fire is 57 percent contained.
The fire originated July 13 and is the second-largest wildfire in California history. The largest was August 2020’s Complex Fire, which burned 1,032,648 acres.
The fire continued “to burn out in the heavy material and was moderated by smoke settling over the fire area” along its West Zone, as some evacuated residents have began to return to their homes, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said in an update Monday.
The southwestern part of the fire “continues to produce extreme fire behavior daily” while spreading south and east, according to Cal Fire. On Sunday, the fire was active in the Ross Canyon Area and was “challenging” firefighters.
So far, there has been one death related to the fire, and more than 1,282 structures have been destroyed, according to Cal Fire. Ninety-two structures have been damaged. The fire destroyed large parts of the town of Greenville.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The Caldor Fire—the state’s second largest—grew to 216,358 acres and is 44 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. The fire has left five people injured and 922 structures destroyed.
The fire moderated overnight, “allowing firefighters to pick up spots that occurred during the day,” according to Cal Fire. Poor humidity and warmer temperatures overnight allowed some interior parts to burn, but crews mitigated threats to any buildings.
Along the West Zone, crews continued fighting the fire’s “aggressive direct attack” and held it to its current perimeters, according to Cal Fire. It is expected to be contained on September 27. As of Monday, 18 wildfires were burning about 1.34 million acres in California, according to Cal Fire.