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Cal Fires says evacuations lifted as growth stalls on Red Bank Fire

by Michael McGough, Sacramento Bee |

Growth has halted on the Red Bank Fire burning 25 miles west of Red Bluff, Calif., and all mandatory evacuation orders and road closures were lifted Sunday, authorities say.

The wildfire has not increased in acreage since the start of Sunday, Cal Fire said in an incident report Monday morning. The fire stands at 8,838 acres and is now 50 percent contained, after containment was reported at just 20 percent early Sunday.

As the weekend ended, fire crews were aided by “favorable fire weather conditions,” which are expected to continue through at least Tuesday, according to Cal Fire’s Monday morning incident update. However, the remote location of the wildfire continues to make access difficult for the 2,307 personnel still assigned to the containment effort.

Cal Fire says two structures have been destroyed, but no others are currently threatened.

The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that all mandatory evacuation orders connected to the Red Bank Fire have been lifted, but noted that a handful of areas in the vicinity of Highway 36 will remain under voluntary evacuation warnings as a precaution.

Deputy patrols will also be increased for the next few days “to deter looting,” the sheriff’s office said.

Cal Fire lists the cause of the Red Bank Fire as lightning. The wildfire ignited early Thursday afternoon, coinciding with a storm system that the National Weather Service says brought thousands of lightning strikes across Northern California.