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Firefighters preparing for greater activity in Klamathon, County blazes

This week's photos from the Northern California Wildfires

Dramatic images are captured from the County, Pawnee and Klamathon Fires in Northern California during the first week of July, 2018.
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Dramatic images are captured from the County, Pawnee and Klamathon Fires in Northern California during the first week of July, 2018.

Firefighters are bracing for more high temperatures and extreme fire activity through the weekend as they work to contain a swath of wildfires that have scorched parts of Northern California.

The state's first wildfire fatality since the deadly Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara occurred near the California-Oregon border, where the Klamathon Fire killed one civilian and injured a firefighter. The fire has the potential to spread into the Klamath National Forest, Siskiyou National Forest and private timber lands, Cal Fire said Saturday.

Meanwhile, California's largest wildfire of the year, the County Fire, could grow more active and smoky as higher temperatures, lower humidities and stronger winds return to Yolo and Napa counties, Cal Fire said.

Here is a roundup of the latest information on Northern California wildfires:

Klamathon Fire

Where: Off Klamathon Road and Copco Road, near Hornbrook in Siskiyou County

Size: 22,000 acres, as of 8:56 p.m. Saturday

Containment: 20 percent, as of 8:56 p.m. Saturday

What's happened: The fire has more than doubled in size since Friday evening, and crossed the border into Oregon last night, Cal Fire said. The flames are now moving southeast away from Oregon. Five hundred and sixty structures are threatened, including 350 homes in immediate danger, and 15 structures have been destroyed.

More than 1,000 firefighters are fighting the conflagration, which is threatening national forests, the habitats of threatened and endangered species, Verizon cell towers and the Yreka Western Railroad. Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Siskiyou County.

Interstate 5 was closed Thursday by Caltrans, but re-opened Friday morning. The freeway is still threatened by the fire, Cal Fire said.

Evacuation updates: About 750 people have been evacuated as mandatory orders were issued for Hornbrook, Hilt, Colestin and Iron Gate Reservoir. Warnings were issued east of the Yreka Western Railroad to Iron Gate Reservoir, south to Copco/Ager and north to the state line.

New mandatory evacuation orders were issued Saturday afternoon for the Klamath River Community Estates east of Black Mountain to Desavado Road, west of Ager and north of Yreka Ager Road. New evacuation warnings were issued for the Airport Road area – southwest of York Road, west of Airport Road, north of Shelly Road and east of Ager Road – and the Bogus Creek area – south of Ager Beswick Road, east of York Road and west of Bogus Creek.

Additional evacuation orders came in Saturday evening for the East Iron Gate estates south of Iron Gate reservoir/Copco Road, north of Ager/Beswick Road, west of Desavado Road and east of Snackenbury Creek. The Copco Lake Area east of Jenny/Fall Creek, south of the Oregon state line, north of Copco Road and west of Topsey Grade was also ordered to evacuate.

Travelers on southbound I-5 encounter smoke and burn areas from the Klamathon wildfire at the California-Oregon border on Saturday, July 7, 2018. The highway reopened Friday morning after it was shut down Thursday due to the fire hazard.

About 30 residents of Hornbrook chose to stay behind and were without water or electricity as of Friday evening, Cal Fire said at a news conference. Evacuation centers have been set up in Yreka at the Jackson Street Elementary School, 405 Jackson St., and in Ashland at Ashland High School, 201 S. Mountain Ave.

County Fire

Where: Guinda in Yolo County, east of Lake Berryessa

Size: 88,425 acres, as of 8:53 p.m. Saturday

Containment: 55 percent, as of 8:53 p.m. Saturday

What's happened: Firefighters are making progress constructing containment lines around the fire, which hasn't grown in size since Friday morning. Steep and inaccessible terrain on the north side of the blaze has hampered firefighters, Cal Fire said, and warmer weather this weekend could spell trouble. More than 3,600 personnel are fighting the fire.

Evacuation updates: Mandatory evacuation orders remain in place west of Highway 16 to Berryessa Knoxville Road, south of Old County Road 40 and north of County Road 53, as well as west of Highway 16 to the Yolo County/Lake County line, north of County Road 40 and south of the Yolo County Line.

Irish Fire

Where: Off Irish Ridge Road and Carbondale Road, southeast of Plymouth in Amador County

Size: 790 acres, as of 12:14 p.m. Saturday

Containment: 80 percent contained, as of 12:14 p.m. Saturday

What's happened: Cal Fire spokesman Brice Bennett said no homes were destroyed, but seven outbuildings have been damaged. Bennett expects that the fire will be fully contained Sunday.

Evacuation updates: All evacuation orders have been lifted and all roads are open.

Pawnee Fire

Where: Pawnee Road and New Long Valley Road, northeast of Clearlake Oaks in Lake County

Size: 15,185 acres, as of 7:20 p.m. Saturday

Containment: 96 percent contained, as of 7:20 p.m. Saturday

What's happened: Crews are patrolling and maintaining perimeter control around the fire, which has not grown since Thursday. The fire previously destroyed 22 structures, damaged six more and injured a firefighter. No structures are currently threatened, and Cal Fire expects full containment by July 10.

Evacuation updates: All evacuation orders have been lifted.

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