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Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name: Lava, Shasta NF
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: SHF
  • Size (acres): 26,365
  • Percent Contained: 81%
  • Estimate of Containment: August 14, 2021
  • Personnel: 23
  • Structures Destroyed: 14

Lava, Shasta-Trinity NF, USFS. Four miles east of Weed, CA. Timber, brush and short grass. Minimal fire behavior with single tree torching and smoldering. Area and road closures in effect.

August 7, 2021 at 9:19 AM

Crews will continue to actively patrol and suppress emerging hot spots within the fire perimeter as needed to minimize the possibility of fire spread.

Firefighters will continue to mop-up near Wildland Urban Interface areas. Within the burned area, pockets of smoke and unburned fuel islands will remain a concern.

July 27, 2021 at 8:22 PM

Heritage concerns for the Lava Incident include cultural lithic scatters, historic emigration trails and logging area rail lines. A CAL FIRE Damage Inspection Team has completed their assessment. Final numbers reported by the Team are noted.

July 18, 2021 at 9:09 AM

25-50 acres of perimeter growth expected in Division E, high on the flanks of Mt Shasta, as fuels continue to burn through the subalpine zone, below tree line and rock barriers. There is low potential fire could reach band of whitebark pine mortality located east of Whitney Falls at about 7,500 ft. elevation, which could increase fire behavior. Diminished likelihood of spread as fuels become unavailable Division E. Mop-up is slow, especially in areas of lava. Continued securing of lines and mop-up nearest WUI areas. Internal smokes and unburned islands will remain a concern.

No significant fire growth or spotting occurred in the fire area yesterday. Crews continue to monitor containment lines and engage as necessary, while an engine continues to patrol for any flareups overnight. As seen from the valley, the fire is burning sporadically at the upper edge of the timberline, above 6,600 feet and nearing the barren slopes of Mt. Shasta. Resources still assigned to the Lava fire will remain in the area as needed for patrol and for the potential for new starts.

Military Pass RD remains closed until further notification, but equipment operators have finished grading the road and placing rock to assist with erosion control. Please use alternative routes until repair activities are completed. 

July 13, 2021 at 9:05 AM

No significant fire growth or spotting occurred in the fire area yesterday. Crews continue to monitor containment lines and engage as necessary, while an engine continues to patrol for any flareups overnight. Mop up is nearly complete except for the inaccessible upper slopes. Repair and rehab work has begun on the dirt roads (mainly along Military Pass) and evaluations are underway on bridges, culverts and other key infrastructure.

As seen from the valley, the fire is burning sporadically at the upper edge of the timberline, above 6,600 feet and nearing the barren upper slopes of Mt. Shasta. Gusting winds may cause increased smoke within the current fire perimeter as the low-lying vegetation burns and smolders in isolated pockets.

July 11, 2021 at 8:30 PM

Minimal fire behavior reported. Threat to private timberland, powerlines, rail lines and critical infrastructure. Road and area closures in effect.

July 11, 2021 at 11:23 AM

The Lava Fire has remained in its current footprint for several days, with no recent significant growth. The fire continues to burn in areas that are largely inaccessible to ground resources, but crews will continue to monitor, patrol and work to contain the fire as it is safe to do so. Because of the prevalence of lava tubes in the fire area—which hold layers of burnable vegetation deep into the soil—smoke will likely be seen until significant rainfall occurs over the area. Firefighters will continue to conduct suppression actions as needed. Containment numbers for the fire may fluctuate in coming days as well, particularly as it continues to burn fuels up to the timberline and scree slopes of Mt. Shasta and more accurate mapping takes place. The fire is burning into the upper reaches of timberline on Mt. Shasta, into an area that has limited fuel and is increasingly difficult to access. There has been very little fire movement, but sporadic interior burning on the north side of the mountain is likely to continue as hot and dry conditions persist. With this, smoke is expected to continue to be visible during the day as small islands of fuel burn.

July 10, 2021 at 8:55 PM

Minimal fire behavior with single tree torching, spotting, and smoldering observed. Threat to private timberland, powerlines, rail lines and critical infrastructure remains. Road and area closures in effect. Transition to a type 3 organization occurred at 0600 today.

Planned actions” Patrol and Mop up to the extent necessary to minimize likelihood of escape. Complete fireline suppression repair where appropriate. Repair roads.

July 9, 2021 at 8:09 AM

Most active area of fire activity is on the upper edge of the fire, high on the flank of Mt. Shasta, with little to no activity around the lower slopes of the fire. Except small flare ups following interior island/stringer of shrub/timber along lava flow back into the body of the fire, south of railroad tracks and west of Graham Creek. Interior islands or pockets of fuels continue to burn out with occasional torching. Very limited perimeter growth over the past 24 hours has been high on the flanks of Mt. Shasta which will likely remain unlined due to extreme slopes. Highly visible smokes will persist in these inaccessible areas.

July 8, 2021 at 10:13 AM

Hot and dry conditions persist. More wind from northwest with gusts up to 22 mph. Upper 80s to lower 90s on ridgetops. Expecting temperatures to increase tomorrow.

Current Situation: High temperatures and gusty winds contributed to an increase in fire activity and smoke yesterday. The active areas were mostly in the lava flows northwest of Mt. Shasta peak and on the western flank of Mt. Shasta, with minimal growth upward toward the tree line. Much of this terrain is inaccessible by foot. Air resources were used to monitor for any threats to containment line. A number of crews are still working diligently in the Whitney Creek area to strengthen containment line and address any issues. Hand crews continue mopping up and patrolling in the Graham and Bolam Creek areas and resources are committed to monitoring the rest of the fire perimeter to address any issues that might arise.

Containment numbers were updated yesterday in response to conditions brought on during the July 6 Red Flag warning.

July 7, 2021 at 5:50 PM

Per Shasta NF: A helicopter from the Lava Fire went down this afternoon. The cause is still under investigation. The pilot was able to walk away and is being assessed at this time. As we get more information, we will share it.#lavafire #shastatrinity #wildfire

July 7, 2021 at 5:14 PM

The Siskiyou County Office of Emergency Services announced, as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, all evacuations warnings for the #LavaFire have been rescinded. See the county map on the Story Map at arcg.is/1CC9Pn

July 7, 2021 at 8:34 AM

No night-shift. Limited resources will patrol and mop up where able. Evacuation Warnings remain in place. There is a Fire Weather Watch in effect Thursday for gusty winds and low RH.

Hot and dry conditions persist. Winds will not be as significant today as they were during yesterday’s Red Flag Warning. However, there is still a possibility of gusts up to 20 mph on ridgelines. Temperatures will remain in the 90s until Friday, when temperatures will rise back into the 100s and remain hot for the weekend. Current Situation:

California State Highway 97 is now open. Please be aware that firefighters and Caltrans personnel are actively working on the highway. Motorists are urged to slow down and drive carefully wherever firefighting operations are occurring.

Yesterday, gusty winds increased fire activity and smoke north of the Diller Canyon area, which was expected under the now expired Red Flag Warning. Aircraft were active in monitoring and patrolling for any threats to the established containment line. There has been so significant growth on the fire for several days.

Hot Shot crews remain in the Whitney Creek area, where they are reinforcing line in extremely rugged and steep terrain. Patrols, mop up, and suppression repair work will continue with support from several air resources, including Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for the entire perimeter of the fire.

CALFIRE has transitioned out of unified command.

July 6, 2021 at 8:46 AM

Minimal fire behavior reported. Evacuation Warnings remain in place. Highway 97 is now open. Rail lines, critical infrastructure and private timberlands remain threatened. There is a Red Flag Warning in effect for the fire area from 2 pm to 8 pm this evening. Fire is currently being managed under unified command between CALFIRE and CA Type 1, Team 1 (McGowan).

The Shasta Trinity National Forest has modified the emergency closure order for the Lava Fire. The modified closure orders, effective from July 6, 2021, through July 15, 2021, opens additional areas to the public that are safe to enter and do not impede firefighter suppression operations.
Please remember that forest Fire Restrictions continue to be in place.
For more on forest closures & restrictions click here: Shasta-Trinity National Forest – Alerts & Notices
Continued progress made by firefighters has allowed some areas to reopen for recreational access However, there are still closures in place and areas that remain unsafe for people to enter due to the high risk of both new wildfires as well as smoldering hot spots within the fire perimeters. Continued cooperation from the public is appreciated. 
The Shasta Trinity National Forest will continue to assess the safety of the closed areas outside of the fire perimeters, with the potential to open these areas in the coming weeks. 
Modified Closure Area for Lava Fire: 
1. Going into or being upon any National Forest System lands within the Lava Fire Closure Area, as described in Exhibit A and shown on the map. 36 C.F.R. § 261.52(e). 
Click here for a PDF of the mapClick here for a PDF of the Closure Order
2. Being on any National Forest System road within the Lava Fire Closure Area, as shown on the map. 36 C.F.R. § 261.54(e). 
3. Being on any National Forest System Trail within the Lava Fire Closure Area, as shown on the map. 36 C.F.R. § 261.55(a). 
Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. § 261.50(e), the following persons are exempt from this Order: 
1. Owners or lessees of land in the Lava Fire Closure Area, to the extent necessary to access their land. 
2. Residents in the Lava Fire Closure Area, to the extent necessary to access their residences. 
3. Persons with a permit from the Forest Service specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission. 
4. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty.

July 5, 2021 at 8:46 PM

Record high ERCs and low 1000-hr fuel moistures persist, but direct handlines and dozer lines continue to check perimeter growth. Interior islands continue to burn out with occasional torching. perimeter growth over the past 24 hours has been high on the flanks of Mt. Shasta which will remain unlined due to extreme slopes. Highly visible internal smokes will persist in the inaccessible areas.

July 5, 2021 at 6:19 PM

Highway 97 is now open following a closure due to the #LavaFire and #TennantFire. Please be aware that fire and @CaltransD2 personnel continue to work on and around the highway. Motorists are urged to slow down and drive carefully.

July 5, 2021 at 8:14 AM

Minimal fire activity observed on the Lava Fire overnight as interior pockets continued to burn and smolder.

Planned actions for today: Patrol and mop up to the extent necessary to minimize likelihood of escape.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has downgraded the Evacuation Order to an Evacuation Warning for the Mt. Shasta Vista Subdivision, County Road A-12 north and south, Harry Cash Road, 4 Corners (Big Springs Rd at County Road A-12) to Hart Road, north side of Hoy Road, North along Highway 97 to County Road A-12, Communities of Lake Shastina and Juniper Valley off Big Springs Road from Highway 97 to McDonald Lane on both east and west sides of Big Springs. Highway 97 remains closed from Weed to the City of Dorris. Alternate routes must be used.

July 4, 2021 at 7:23 PM

Moderate fire behavior observed. Evacuation orders and Warnings remain in place, repopulation remains ongoing. Highway 97 remains closed with Interstate 5 threatened. Rail lines, critical infrastructure, private timberlands, agricultural lands, cultural and historical resources threatened. Fire is currently being managed under unified command between CALFIRE and CA Type 1, Team 1 (McGowan).

July 4, 2021 at 9:07 AM

Approximately 1200 residents of communities of Lake Shastina and Carrick continue to return to their residences. Fire has spread over the Union Pacific rail lines and reconstruction of damaged trestles has begun. The fire is still active, with spread to the northeast mid slope of Mt. Shasta.

Overnight fire behavior continued to moderate and no effect from nocturnal thunderstorms was observed. Only growth was on the southeast portion of the Lava Fire as it continues to creep up the inaccessible slopes of Mt Shasta. Interior pockets of fuels continued to burn.

Conditions will be unstable again today with plume domination possible in the afternoon. There could be a few showers and thunderstorms that develop in the afternoon and evening. Gusty and erratic winds are possible. LAL 2

July 3, 2021 at 8:45 PM

Active fire behavior with single tree torching and smoldering observed. Evacuation orders remain in place, repopulation remains ongoing. Highway 97 remains closed and Interstate 5 remains threatened. Rail lines, critical infrastructure, private timberlands, agricultural lands, cultural and historical resources remain threatened. Fire is currently being managed under unified command between CALFIRE and CA Type 1, Team 1 (McGowan).

July 3, 2021 at 8:46 AM

Moderate fire behavior with backing and creeping observed.

Planned Actions – Keep the fire:

-East of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks

-South of Deer Mt Road

-North of Diller Canyon

-West of the North Gate Trailhead

Evacuation Orders and Warnings remain in place. Highway 97 remains closed. Rail lines, critical infrastructure, private timberlands, agricultural lands, Cultural and historical resources remain threatened. Fire is currently being managed under unified command between CALFIRE and CA Type 1, Team 1 (McGowan).

Conditions will be unstable with plume domination possible in the afternoon. There could be a few showers and thunderstorms that develop late in the afternoon and evening. Gusty and erratic winds are possible. Temperatures are expected to be in triple digits in the valleys and 80-85 on the ridges.

July 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM

A warming trend in temps will start today and continue into Saturday. There is continued slight chance for thunderstorms during afternoons /evenings today through Sunday. Today, temperatures are expected to be 90-95 in the valleys and 75-85 on the ridges.

Planned actions: Protect critical infrastructure and cultural resources using direct tactics supported by aircraft. Continue control line operations and mop-up. Crews will continue to hold and mop up the constructed lines to the north and west to protect the communities of Lake Shastina, Mount Shasta Vista and Big Springs.

July 1, 2021 at 9:07 PM

Active fire behavior with isolated torching and short range spotting. Structures remain threatened with Evacuation Orders and Warnings in place.

Portions of Lake Shastina and Carrick allowed to re-populate at 1800 this evening.

Highway 97 remains closed and Interstate 5 threatened.

Rail lines, critical infrastructure, cultural and historical resources remain threatened.

There was a Red Flag Warning in effect for the fire area until 9 pm this evening.

California Type 1, Team 1 (McGowan) is assigned. Fire is currently being managed under unified command between CALFIRE and CA Type 2, Team 14 (Watkins).

July 1, 2021 at 7:47 AM

Photo of the Nevada County strike team on the Lava Fire, courtesy PIO Daniel Ramey

Planned actions:

Keep the fire:

-East of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks

-South of Deer Mt Road

-North of Diller Canyon

-West of the North Gate Trailhead

Protect critical infrastructure and cultural resources using direct tactics supported by aircraft. Continue control line operations and mop-up. Crews will continue to hold and mop up the constructed lines to the north and west to protect the communities of Lake Shastina, Mount Shasta Vista and Big Springs.

Evacuation orders remain in place for those communities.

Challenges to firefighters include steep, rocky terrain, limited road access to the fire, and limited water sources close to the fire.

Hot temperatures over inland areas will trend slightly lower today then trend warmer Friday and Saturday. There is continued slight chance for thunderstorms during afternoons /evenings today through Sunday. Today, temperatures are expected to be 90-95 in the valleys and 75-85 on the ridges.

June 30, 2021 at 2:03 PM

Yesterday fire crews made good progress building containment lines on the north and west side of the fire, reducing the threat to the communities of Lake Shastina, Mount Shasta Vista and Big Springs. Overnight, the fire remained active on the southeastern edge due to forecasted winds from the north. Most of the movement was high on the slope in the timber stand on Mount Shasta. Low afternoon humidity is expected to continue, and south winds are expected again through mid-morning with a switch to northwest winds late afternoon. Temperatures are forecasted to be slightly cooler today.

Today, priorities will include scouting for containment opportunities and taking direct suppression actions on the southern edge of the fire. Crews will continue to hold and mop up the constructed lines to the north and west to protect the communities of Lake Shastina, Mount Shasta Vista and Big Springs. Evacuation orders remain in place for those communities. Challenges to firefighters include steep, rocky terrain, limited road access to the fire, and limited water sources close to the fire. The Lava Fire is being managed by California Incident Management Team 14 and is in unified command with CAL FIRE.

Evacuation areas: Mount Shasta Vista Subdivision, Carrick Addition, County Road A-12 north and south, Harry Cash Road, 4 Corners to Hart Road, north side of Hoy Road, North along Highway 97 to County Road A-12, Communities of Lake Shastina and Juniper Valley off Big Springs Road from Highway 97 to McDonald Lane on both east and west sides of Big Springs Road. Highway 97 is closed between the City of Weed and City of Dorris on Highway 97.

June 30, 2021 at 7:44 AM

Active fire behavior reported overnight. Structures remain threatened with Evacuation Orders and Warning in place. Highway 97 remains closed and Interstate 5 threatened. Rail lines in the fire area have been damaged and critical infrastructure remains threatened.

June 29, 2021 at 10:45 PM

Active fire behavior reported with short range spotting. Structures remain threatened with Evacuation Orders and Warning in place. Highway 97 is closed and Interstate 5 remains threatened. Continued threat to critical infastrucure including timber and agriculture land. Rail lines have been reported as damaged. Fire is being managed under unified command between CALFIRE and CA Type 2, Team 14 (Watkins).  

All evacuation orders issued by Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office remain in place for the Lava Fire. They include the following areas:
-All homes north side of Hoy Road
-North along Highway 97 to County Road A-12
-Communities of Lake Shastina and Juniper Valley off Big Springs Road from Highway 97 to McDonald Lane
-Big Springs Road on both east and west sides
-Mount Shasta Vista Subdivision-County Road A-12 north and south
-Harry Cash Road
-4 Corners to Hart Road

Highway 97 Closure:
Highway 97 is closed between the City of Weed and the Juniper Lodge on Highway 97. This closure is approximately 30 miles. CALL 211 for more info

June 29, 2021 at 7:45 AM

Active fire behavior was reported overnight. Evacuation Orders remain in place for surrounding areas. Highway 97 is closed and Interstate 5 remains threatened. The threat remains to rail lines, private timberland and critical infrastructure. Fire is being managed under unified command between CALFIRE and CA Type 2, Team 14 (Watkins).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state of California in combating the Lava Fire, which is burning in Siskiyou County.

On June 28, the state of California submitted a request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the Lava Fire. At the time of the request, the fire threatened approximately 2,100 homes in and around Lake Shastina, Mt. Shasta Vista and Carrick. The fire also threatened a local water supply, power lines and a major rail line in the area. Mandatory evacuations were in place for around 10,000 people.

The FEMA regional administrator approved the state’s request on June 28, as the fire threatened to become a major incident.

FMAGs provide federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. The Disaster Relief Fund provides allowances for FMAGs through FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause major disasters. Eligible costs covered by FMAGs can include expenses for field camps, equipment use, materials, supplies and mobilization, and demobilization activities attributed to fighting the fire.

June 28, 2021 at 8:29 PM

Active fire behavior with crowning and spotting reported. Evacuation Orders issued for community of Lake Shastina and surrounding areas. Highway 97 is closed and Interstate 5 remains threatened. The threat remains to rail lines. Red Flag Warning remains in effect for for gusty winds and low RH. CA Type 2 Team 14 is in command.  

June 28, 2021 at 3:09 PM

ADDITIONAL EVACUATION ORDER from Siskiyou Sheriff

Mount Shasta Vista Subdivision
County Road A-12 north and south
Harry Cash Road, 4 Corners to Hart Road
CALL 211 for more info.
THIS IS AN ORDER TO EVACUATE!!!

June 28, 2021 at 8:37 AM

Fire behavior remained active overnight. The communities of Weed and Carrick remain threatened. Evacuation Warnings remain in place. Interstate 5, Highway 97 and rail lines remain threatened. There is a Red Flag Warning in effect today for Haines of 6 and strong gusty winds and low RH for the fire area. California Type 2 IMT Team 14 (Watkins) assumes command today.

As of 7 a.m. this morning, management of the Lava Fire has been transitioned to California Interagency Incident Management Team 14.

The Lava Fire was ignited by lightning on June 24, 2021. It is located approximately 3.5 miles north east of Weed. Strong, erratic winds yesterday afternoon caused the fire to grow considerably, especially to the north and east, away from the communities of Weed, Carrick, and Lake Shastina. As of 8 a.m. on Monday, June 28,the fire is  1,446 acres and is 20% contained. No new evacuations have been issued at this time. no new evacuations were issued, and no structures have been damaged or destroyed as a result of the Lava Fire.

Firefighters reported that the fire remained active overnight, especially on its northern edge. Firefighters were able to continue to make good progress on building line on that section, and successfully held the fire north and east of the railroad tracks.  

Today, priorities will include scouting opportunities for containment to the north and holding the constructed lines to the south and west, cutting off fire progression into the communities. Challenges to firefighters include steep, rocky terrain, limited road access to the fire, and limited water sources close to the fire. Several temporary water tanks will be installed to assist firefighters in supplying engines and aircraft with water. Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist through tomorrow with low humidity and only moderate humidity recovery overnight. South winds are expected to increase over the fire area today, increasing chances of continued spread to the north.

June 27, 2021 at 9:22 AM

The Lava Fire was ignited by lightning on June 24, 2021. It is located approximately 3.5 miles north east of Weed, and 4.5 miles southeast of Lake Shastina. Currently, the fire is mapped at approximately 220 acres and is 25% contained.  

The fire continued to be active overnight, although lower winds speeds helped lessen fire activity yesterday evening. Most growth yesterday was to the south and southeast, as the fire had a normal seasonal wind on it throughout the day. Exceptionally dry conditions, aided by normal mountain winds, caused the fire to grow considerably yesterday afternoon.

An EVACUATION WARNING has been issued for the areas along State Route 97, north of Weed, California: Angel Valley Road, Carrick Addition, and Solus Drive.

Firefighters will prioritize the southwestern corner of the fire today, working to stop progress to the south and west. They will also look for opportunities to suppress the fire directly on its active edge on the east. The northern and western edges held well overnight, and crews will work on mop up today to ensure containment. Weather today is expected to be hot and dry, with temperatures approaching triple digits and very poor overnight fuel recoveries. Winds are predicted to be light and variable, gusting to 7 mph in the afternoon.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered and is expected to in brief this evening with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.