Firefighters and resources are stretched to the limit, and no one wanted to hear the news that a new fire broke out Tuesday afternoon in northern Mendocino County. The new Eel fire was uncontained after burning 865 acres as of Wednesday morning, according to Cal Fire.
The fire is traveling through dry grass and oak in an area of rolling hills that can become steep and difficult to access, Cal Fire deputy chief Scott McLean said, as reported by the LA Times. “It’s going to keep growing, hopefully not very much more, but we’ll find out,” McLean said Wednesday morning.
The Eel is the latest of 16 large fires burning throughout the state, according to Cal Fire. Another blaze that ignited Tuesday in Mono County north of Mammoth Lake, called the Owens Fire, burned 312 acres and was also uncontained as of Wednesday morning.
Firefighters continued to gain containment Wednesday on more than a dozen wildfires raging across the state, despite challenges posed by hot, dry weather and harsh terrain, authorities said. The largest of the blazes is the Carr Fire, which as of Wednesday morning had burned 115,538 acres and was 35% contained.
Forecasters say the weather will finally return to normal by this weekend when temperatures will “only” reach the high 90s and humidity will hover around 20%, said Roy Skinner, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
“Any break in the weather is appreciated — we’re at 35% containment,” he said. “However, we don’t want people to be complacent, or on edge. But the fact is, this fire was started by just one little spark off a vehicle.”
Still, as a low-pressure system approaches from the west, the area could see shifting winds and gusts up 30 miles per hour, said National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Dang.