Crews battle lightning-caused fires

Firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management and multiple cooperating agencies are fighting wildland fires sparked by lightning last night, Tuesday, June 23, on Northeastern California public lands managed by the BLM. Fire engines, bulldozers and aircraft are assigned.

No structures have been threatened or damaged.

The largest blaze is the R2 Fire, burning grass and brush near the junction of Highway 395 and Deep Cut Road, about 19 miles northeast of Susanville. The fire has burned 563 acres and is 80 percent contained. Bulldozers have cut a line around the fire and forward progress was stopped overnight. Crews will continue working on fire lines today, assisted by aircraft if needed.

The other significant fires touched off by last night’s lightning are the R5 and R3 fires, both burning near the junction of Skedaddle Ranch Road and Spencer Basin Road, about 11 miles northeast of Herlong. The R5 Fire is about 50 acres, while the R3 Fire is about 210 acres. There is no containment on either fire, but rate of spread was slow, and fire crews were making progress on fire lines Wednesday morning.

In addition to these fires, crews are responding to a reported fire on Skedaddle Mountain east of Susanville, and two fires northeast of Cedarville.

Officials said flights were planned for this morning to spot other fires, including “holdover” fires from Tuesday night’s storms.

More lightning is forecast for Wednesday, BLM fire officials said, but it is expected to be less widespread and accompanied by more rain than last night’s storms.