Merging wildfires burn 500 acres in remote Colusa County area

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2012 - 8:05 am

Hundreds of firefighters converged Tuesday on a remote area of Colusa County where two wildfires combined.

The 16 Complex fire was reported at 3:49 p.m. and, as of 7:30 p.m., it had burned 500 acres along Highway 16, south of Highway 20, and was 10 percent contained. No structures were threatened.

Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said about an eight-mile stretch of Highway 16 was closed to traffic from Highway 20 into Rumsey Canyon.

He described the area as very remote, brush-covered terrain. Over the past decade, Berlant said, several fires have occurred in the area, with some burning for weeks because it is so difficult for fire crews to reach.

The cause of the 16 Complex fire has not been determined, but Berlant said the vegetation is extremely dry. Strike teams and firefighting aircraft from throughout Northern California were assigned to the fire.

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