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Rocky Fire Wednesday: Containment Grows; 43 Homes, 53 Outbuildings Burned

Josh Edelson / AP

A plume of smoke rises above a hillside as the Rocky Fire burns near Clearlake, Calif., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. The fire has charred more than 65,000 acres and destroyed at least 24 residences.

Josh Edelson / AP

Rocky Fire Crosses Hwy 20; More Evacuations Ordered

6:50 p.m. - Cal Fire says containment on the Rocky Fire is up to 30 percent as of Wednesday afternoon. The burn area also grew slightly, to 69,600 acres.

An updated damage report show 43 residences and 53 outbuildings burned.

Firefighters continue to work aggressively to build control lines and sustain perimeter control. Terrain is steep and rugged with limited access. Hotter drier conditions are expected to return during the day increasing the potential for fire activity throughout the fire area.

Structure loss assessment numbers may rise as damage assessment teams are able to access the previously burned areas. 

-Capital Public Radio staff

11:15 a.m. - Firefighters say they're making progress on the Rocky Fire burning near Clear Lake thanks in part to a little rain yesterday. The blaze continues to spread, now covering 68,300 acres, with 39 homes and 52 outbuildings destroyed. Containment stands at 20 percent.


7:09 a.m. - Favorable weather in the last 24 hours has allowed Cal Fire to reinforce the control lines in the northwestern corner of the burned area, near the Spring Valley and Double Eagle developments. 


Battalion Chief Rick Frawley is a spokesman for Cal Fire. 

"It's predominantly hilly terrain that has difficult access points. We use dozer operations to affect creating fire breaks between the burned and the unburned areas of the incident perimeter," says Frawley.

But the terrain is still posing a challenge.

"Essentially we've drawn a box around the incident, and we're painting in the corners, so to speak."

6:46 a.m. - Firefighters say they're making progress on the Rocky Fire burning near Clear Lake thanks in part to a little rain yesterday. Containment is now at 20 percent.

About 3,500 firefighters continue to battle the blaze, including Jeff Ohs. He's a battalion chief for the Long Beach Fire Department. Ohs told the California Report, part of the issue is the reach of the fire - it's eaten up 67,000 acres.

"There are so many fires and there are so many people spread out all over the place that we don't have the ability to put as many people on this particular fire that we would like to," explains Ohs. "And that goes for every fire in the state. The resources are at a draw down. The state's in a higher preparedness level than it normally is. We're not at a breaking point but we're definitely at a stretching point."

Cal Fire says full containment on the Rocky Fire is expected by Monday.

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