Two women killed by Northern California wildfire in Weed

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The two victims killed in the Mill Fire Friday in Northern California were both women – aged 66 and 73 – and were found inside Weed city limits, authorities said Monday morning.

The women, whose names have not been released pending notification of next of kin, were found by first responders after the fire broke out on Friday, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office.

No other residents were reported missing, sheriff’s officials said. During an operational briefing Monday morning, Cal Fire Unit Chief Phillip Anzo led fire crews in a moment of silence for the two victims.

City officials said the fire of the mill It is believed to have started in a shed in an unused part of the Roseburg Forest Products plant in Weed, although Cal Fire has not confirmed where or how the fire started.

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A residence catches fire as the factory fire causes damage in the Lake Shastina subdivision northwest of Weed, Calif., Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. Hung T. Vu Special for The Record Searchlight via AP

Hours after the factory fire started around 12:49 p.m. Friday, a second blaze – the Mountain Fire – erupted several miles to the west.

Both were still burning Monday, and authorities estimate at least 100 homes were destroyed in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Weed and nearby Shastina Lake.

The factory fire had burned 4,263 acres as of Monday morning, an increase of 9 acres overnight. More than 500 people remained evacuated, Cal Fire said. But the containment of this fire had increased to 40% while the firefighters increased containment lines around the fire and continued to protect structures in the area.

Cal Fire says 88 homes were destroyed along with 18 outbuildings. But that number is expected to rise as crews continue to assess properties in Lincoln Heights, a historically black neighborhood in Weed, as well as Shastina Lake.

Map of grinder fires

This live updated map shows the location of the Mill Fire, right, and the Mountain Fire, with satellite heat detection data for hotspots. Click the legend button for more information.

Sources: US Department of the Interior, IRWIN, NIFC, NASA, NOAA and Esri

The Mountain Fire spread almost 2,000 acres overnight and had burned 10,338 acres by Monday morning. The blaze forced the evacuation of 332 residents after a new round of evacuations was released on Sunday. Crews said the fire remained 10% contained.

“The fire is burning over steep, rugged terrain in various types of vegetation,” Cal Fire said. “All fuels are at or approaching critical drought levels.

“Personnel are committed to defending the structure and reinforcing the lines of control. More resources continue to arrive.

At an operational briefing for fire crews early Monday, officials said the Mountain Fire had been largely contained on its eastern flank but was continuing to spread west.

“The problematic question … is this west side of the mountain,” said Justin Macomb, chief operating officer at Cal Fire. “We have a lot of activity there on the mountain.”

He said the fire threatened to cross Moffett Creek in a rugged, heavily wooded area of ​​Siskiyou. “We have to hold Moffett Creek if we can,” he said.

Nearly 2,500 firefighters and other personnel were deployed to battle the blazes and faced scorching heat and dry conditions, with temperatures near Weed expected to reach 98 degrees on Monday and 104 on Tuesday. Forecasts, however, indicated that wind will not be a factor until at least Wednesday.

Six persons Was killed in wildfires this summer in California, all in Siskiyou County. Four died in the McKinney fire in July.

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Cal Fire firefighters attempt to stop flames from the factory fire from spreading to property in the Lake Shastina subdivision northwest of Weed, Calif., Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. Hung T. Vu Special for The Record Searchlight via AP

This story was originally published September 5, 2022 7:27 a.m.

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Sam Stanton has worked for The Bee since 1991 and has covered a variety of issues including politics, criminal justice and breaking news.

Dale Kasler covers climate change, the environment, the economy and the convoluted world of California water. He also covers major corporate stories for McClatchy’s Western newspapers. He joined The Bee in 1996 from the Des Moines Register and graduated from Northwestern University.

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