The Jerusalem fire in Lake County grew by nearly 4,000 acres Wednesday as the blaze continued to spread in brush and grass, but firefighters also made progress toward containing the blaze.
Firefighters worked aggressively to extinguish the 20,500-acre blaze. Containment increased from 6 percent Wednesday morning to 16 percent by early Wednesday evening. A total of 2,053 personnel are assigned to the Jerusalem blaze that broke out Sunday.
The Jerusalem fire is burning south of the mostly contained Rocky fire that destroyed 43 homes last week.
The Jerusalem fire began about 3:45 p.m. Sunday just off Jerusalem Road, 7 miles east of Middletown. A mandatory evacuation order is in place for the Jerusalem Valley.
Firefighting resources from the nearby Rocky fire are being directed to the Jerusalem fire zone. Cal Fire officials reported that firefighting efforts were hampered by the lack of improved roads. Erratic winds also were contributing to increased fire activity, including uphill runs and spot fires a short distance ahead of the main fire.
Fire officials said the comparatively small Jerusalem blaze could merge with the Rocky fire, the state’s largest wildfire, which has burned nearly 70,000 acres and was 95 percent contained as of Wednesday evening.