As Lava Fire grows Siskiyou Co. Sheriff says around 10k residents evacuated

SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. —A fire outside of Weed continues to rapidly grow. The Lava Fire is picking up steam, because of the strong winds and high temperatures in Siskiyou County.

It started about 10 acres on Thursday, because of lightning. It was last mapped at 1400 acres, but it’s seen considerable growth throughout the day.

The US Forest Service says it’s about 4,000-acres, based on satellite imaging, but a more accurate read is coming from infrared overnight. The Lava Fire is about 20% contained.

Federal fire officials say it’s burning in rough, rocky terrain, 3.5 miles northeast of Weed.

The Forest Service says its location also makes it hard to get water to. When the fire crossed the railroad tracks just next to Highway 97, an evacuation order was implemented.

Siskiyou County Sheriff, Jeremiah LaRue says around 10,000 people have already been evacuated.

Local law enforcement went door to door, telling residents to leave immediately.

A Code Red Alert notification system was also sent out, to  Lake Shastina and Juniper Valley area.

A temporary evacuation point has been established at Big Springs Elementary School.

Mount Shasta Ski Park says it’s also opened up its parking lot for evacuees to stay in.

“Due to high winds and low humidity and it is really hot as everyone knows, it’s just fueled into this giant storm behind me,” said Sheriff LaRue.

We caught up with one longtime Lake Shastina resident Bryson Dennis Monday. He evacuated to Medford.

He says when he saw the flames from his home, he knew it was time to go.

“The size of that fire today it was so huge and puffing black smoke it had obliterated the whole mountain. That is gigantic compared to what we’ve seen before,” said Dennis.

He says from his home, chunks of ash were falling from the sky.

Siskiyou County residents are urged to call 211 for more information. The Siskiyou County Website and Facebook page are the best places to stay up to date.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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