As a high fire risk remains for parts of the western United States, firefighters in California continue to steadily gain ground on a number of large, disruptive wildfires.
Since Sept. 4, the Walker Fire has grown to consume over 50,000 acres in Northern California, making it the largest wildfire in the state this year. As of Monday night, the fire had grown to 54,518 acres and was at 95% containment, according to InciWeb.
The fire has charred parts of the Plumas National Forest, about 11 miles east of Taylorsville, California, which is located about four hours northeast of San Francisco.
Evacuation orders for the Murdock Crossing and Stoney areas were lifted on Monday, along with all other evacuation orders that had been given by the Plumas and Lassen County Sheriff's offices.
On Sept. 8, the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 took a photo of the Walker Fire with the combination of natural color overlaid with false-color composite to further emphasize the burned areas, according to NASA.
|The Walker Fire has been burning in northern California since Sept. 4, 2019, and had engulfed more than 50,000 acres as of Sept. 16. The Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 took this image on Sept. 8. (NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Antt/Landsat data from U.S. Geological Survey)|
Some much-needed wet weather on Monday helped firefighters gain significant ground on containing the blaze.
Over 2,000 personnel are currently employed in containing the wildfire.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), there are at least 11 active incidents that officials are responding to across the state.
In Southern California, the Horseshoe Fire in Riverside County, has burned over 500 acres and is 67% contained.
On Sunday, evacuation orders were lifted for the fire. About 200 residents in 60 homes had to evacuate from the affected area as flames crept dangerously close on Saturday.
According to the San Bernardino Sun, firefighters took advantage of favorable weather conditions to gain ground on the blaze.
"Today we got some strong, slightly gusty winds. But we're so much ahead of the fire that it is not going to create a problem," Cal Fire-Riverside County Capt. Fernando Herrera told the Sun on Sunday.
"If we had this wind yesterday, it would have been a different story," Herrara said.
The single largest recorded wildfire on record for California was the Ranch Fire, which burned 410,203 acres in 2018. The Ranch Fire was a part of the larger Mendocino Complex Fire along with the River Fire, which combined to become the largest recorded fire complex in the history of California. The complex burned 459,123 acres.
Officials said sparks from a hammer driving a metal stake into the ground caused the Ranch Fire, the Associated Press said.