County agencies send strike teams to fight Erskine Fire

A strike team composed of firefighters from multiple Colusa County agencies is headed south to help battle the deadly Erskine fire burning in Kern County.

Firefighters from Colusa City Fire Department, Sacramento River Fire Protection District, Maxwell Fire Department, and Williams Fire Department are sending personnel to assist in battling the blaze, Colusa City Fire Capt. Logan Conley said.

They join more than 2,000 total personnel fighting the fire, which has burned more than 45,000 acres and was only 40-percent contained as of Monday morning.

The Erskine Fire, which began on Thursday, is the largest of eight active fires currently listed on the Cal Fire incident report. At least two people are dead and 150 homes have been destroyed in what has been Califorinia’s most destructive fire so far this year.
“Already this year, we have seen a significant increase in fire activity statewide. Last week alone, there were 290 wildfires, and from Jan. through June, we have responded to 2,400 wildfires burning 98,000 acres,” said Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant. “We have had a number of small fires along the I-5 corridor, but the larger and more damaging fires have been in the Central Coast and Southern California, because those areas didn’t see the saim rainfall as Northern California did.”

Closer to home, the Reservoir Fire is currently burning just a few miles west of the Colusa County line in Lake County, which started yesterday at around noon. Cal Fire first reported that they were battling a 20 acre fire near Indian Valley Reservoir at around 8 AM on Sunday. By about 10 AM, the fire had grown to 250 acres.

“The rainfall was great in the winter and the spring, and after five years of no rain, we’ll take what we can get. But it’s a blessing and a curse,” Berlant said. “When we have more rain, you tend to see the grasses grow higher and thicker… and we didn’t receive enough rainfall for the heavier fuels to catch up to where they should be after five years of drought.”

At the time of publication, the fire was 25 percent contained and down to 215 acres.

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net