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Cal Fire Worries: Hot Temps And Fourth Of July Fireworks

AP Photo/Noah Berger
A firefighter scrambles to stop the Pawnee fire as it spots across Highway 20 near Clearlake Oaks, Calif., on Sunday, July 1, 2018.

The County and Pawnee fires in Northern California have doubled the total acreage burned in the state to more than 100,000.

Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean says the agency is worried about an expected return of 100 degree temperatures by the end of the week and Fourth of July fireworks in the middle of it.

"If you're caught with illegal fireworks, you could be prosecuted, you could go to jail, you could be paying a hefty fine,” he said. “If your illegal fireworks cause a wildland fire or any fire for that matter, you could be billed for suppression costs, which could add [up] to a lot of money.”

The causes of the County and Pawnee fires are still under investigation.

McLean says changing wind directions have made it difficult to anticipate fire behavior.

"We're having to deal with a fire that can spread in various directions at a moment's notice. So, we as watch the weather, and watch the weather conditions, we adapt accordingly,” McLean said. “We put more resources out ahead of the fire depending on the direction it's going. We build lines directly on the fire and we also build ... contingency lines."

The County Fire is in just its second full day but has burned more than 44,000 acres. It is 3 percent contained.

The Pawnee Fire has burned 22 structures and 14,700 acres. It is 75 percent contained.

Copyright 2018 Capital Public Radio