Jones Fire in Nevada County almost under control |

Jones Fire in Nevada County almost under control

As of Thursday morning the Jones Fire remained at 85% containment, with Cal Fire officials anticipating full containment by the end of today.

A tree-falling team has recently been working within the fire’s perimeter, dropping hazard trees that have since been identified by firefighters.

“Hopefully by the end of the day,” Cal Fire Public Information Officer Mary Eldridge said regarding full containment. “As long as the weather cooperates.”

The fire started early Aug. 17 in the South Yuba River Canyon near Jones Bar, and has since burned 705 acres and destroyed or damaged 24 structures, including 14 homes. ­Officials said a lightning strike was the cause of the blaze.

Firefighters continue to monitor for additional lightning strike wildfires, of which there were more than two dozen in northern California Wednesday into Thursday morning, the agency said. Since Aug. 15, there have been nearly 14,000 lightning strikes. During this time period, there have been more than 700 new wildfires, which have now burned over 1.35 million acres.

“The significant acreage burned makes the fires collectively larger than the state of Delaware,” a Cal Fire news release states. “In this siege, there have been seven reported fatalities and nearly 1,890 structures destroyed.

“Firefighters have increased containment at a faster rate than before as weather conditions have returned to a more predictable seasonal nature. More states continue to send fire resources, with 96 out-of-state fire engines assigned to fires (Thursday).”

The Loyalton Fire, which started Aug. 14, has burned through more than 47,000 acres in Sierra County and is now 93% contained.

In Plumas County, the North Complex Fire has burned nearly 55,000 acres since igniting Aug. 18, and is 21% contained southwest of Susanville.

Napa County’s LNU Lightning Complex Fire had consumed 368,868 acres and was 33% contained as of Thursday morning.

According to the Associated Press, wine country evacuation orders in Napa and Sonoma counties were lifted Wednesday for about 35,000 people. However, the fire also jumped a highway and threatened homes in neighboring Yolo County near the community of Rumsey, prompting new evacuations on Wednesday.

That fire, the site of at least five deaths, still threatened 30,500 homes and other buildings after destroying more than 1,000, the AP reported.

Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez contributed to this report.

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