Firefighters continue work to contain California fires

HAPPY CAMP, Calif. — Crews have made progress in containing the 9,085-acre Elk Complex of lightning-sparked fires.

With 1,145 people battling the flames, the fires are now 22 percent contained, the Forest Service reported this morning.

Of the 30 identified fires in the Elk Complex, 24 are 100 percent contained. Officials report that 550 buildings remain threatened.

Closest to town, the Little Grider fire is now 50 percent contained and has burned 1,952 acres. Crews started burning additional fuel inside the fire line around that blaze Sunday and got good results, officials said.

The King Creek 2 fire has burned 2,895 acres and is now 25 percent contained. Firefighters made significant progress on the fire’s southern and western edges over the weekend.

The Wingate fire has burned 916 acres and is 5 percent contained. Crews have established a line from Titus Ridge west to the Klamath River. At the nearby 2,026-acre Titus fire, crews are focused on protecting homes, which were evacuated earlier. Fire lines encircle homes there, but the fire is just 5 percent contained.

Crews are camped near the Elk fire, which is adjacent to the Marble Mountain Wilderness. The 1,144-acre fire is now 40 percent contained. The Hummingbird fire inside the wilderness has consumed an estimated 80 acres and has no containment lines in place.

Fire officials expect to have the complex fully contained by July 29. Firefighting efforts so far have cost $8.2 million.

— Anita Burke

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