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Jan. 1 Pilot Fire in rural Northern California 60 percent contained

by Vincent Moleski, Sacramento Bee |

The 30-acre Pilot Fire in Northern California’s Humboldt County reached 60 percent containment Wednesday morning as it burned south of Willow Creek.

The Pilot Fire started at 2:41 p.m. Jan. 1 near Pilot Ridge Road and U.S. Forest Service Route 1 in a relatively remote area of Humboldt County, Cal Fire Humboldt-Del Norte division chief Jonni Mayberry said.

When Cal Fire crews first arrived at the fire, it was about three acres wide, Mayberry said, but the affected area consists mostly of dry vegetation and has been somewhat windy, expanding the fire as flames reached up to three feet.

The Pilot Fire is about a mile away from any structures and the spread has been effectively stopped. The Humboldt-Del Norte unit anticipated full containment to be reached by Wednesday night, Mayberry said.

“It’s not uncommon to have fires in this area in January,” Mayberry said. “This is a good reminder to the public that fire season is year-round.”

In the first six days of 2014, the Humboldt-Del Norte unit dealt with six vegetation fires, ranging from 1 to 333 acres, Mayberry said.