Thursday, June 24, 2021

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Highway 16 Fire at 90% Containment

The 17,944 acre ‘Highway 16 Complex Fire’, ignited Tuesday, September 4, 2012, was 90% contained by Monday morning according to Cal Fire. 

All evacuations have been lifted, and Highway 16 has been reopened. A smoke advisory for Highway 16 and 20 is in effect for decreased visibility in the area. Motorists are advised to use extra caution when traveling through the area. 

The Highway 16 Complex Fire is located south of Highway 20, in the Rumsey Canyon area, in Colusa and Yolo County. 

The cause of the fire is unknown and is still under investigation. 

Highway 16 Complex fire is a combination of two fires that located within 4 miles of each other. 

Firefighters continue to strengthen control lines and extinguish hot spots. Smoke continues to rise from some areas, primarily within the interior sections. 

The fire is expected not to spread beyond the current control lines. 

Significant efforts have begun to repair any damage caused by suppression efforts with the purpose of preventing any future environmental damage. 

Firefighters and resources continue to be released from the incident. 

Firefighters worked aggressively to create and strategize containment lines the first several days. The fire doubling in size each time threatening the Cortina Indian Rancheria placing an evacuation of the small community. 

Homes at the Cortina Rancheria are saved by earlier efforts of containment lines; in addition to the hard work and dedication of firefighters as the fire approached the community. 

The fire was fueled by a combination of dry grass, brush, and oak trees located in step rugged terrain. Weather conditions were not favorable the first several days as the region experienced 15mph wind gusts. . 

Cooperating agencies include: Cal Fire, Cal Trans, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Highway Patrol, Colusa and Yolo County fire and law enforcement agencies, Department of Fish and Game, California Emergency Management Agency, the Bureau of Land Management and the California National Guard. 

A total of 1,268 personnel worked on the blaze. 

This is the third fire in two months Colusa County has experienced. 

The Sites Complex fire started on July 8, located at the Sites Lodoga Road, just west of Maxwell with five fires scorching a total of 4,185 acres. 

The Wye & Walker Ridge fire started on August 12th, located at Highway 20 east of Highway 53 and Clearlake Oaks, where the two fires scorched a total of 7,934 acres. Destroying two homes and one out building. 

Both the Sites Complex and the Wye/Walker Ridge fire are fully contained and are still under investigation for cause. ■

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