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Siskiyou County fire sparks evacuation warnings

This photo taken Saturday shows smoke from the Lava fire, burning north of Weed, California. As of Saturday evening, the fire was estimated to have a footprint of 10 acres and 25% contained. Inciweb photo.

A lightning-caused wildfire burning near Weed, California has prompted evacuation warnings.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office warns individuals along Highway 97 to be prepared to evacuate as the Lava fire burns in rough, rocky terrain northeast of Weed, California, according to a Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post made at 4:45 p.m. Saturday and the fire’s Inciweb page.

The fire stemmed from lightning overnight in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest that as of Saturday evening was estimated at 80 acres.

The fire was first spotted Saturday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service - Shasta-Trinity National Forest Facebook page. Crews estimated the fire at 2 acres as of 8 a.m. Saturday, at 3-1/2 acres as of 11 a.m., and 10 acres by 1:15 p.m. owing to hot, dry and windy conditions.

As of a 5:44 p.m. tweet from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, winds carried the fire uphill to a footprint of approximately 80 acres.

The 80-acre fire is estimated at 20% contained as of 6:04 p.m. Saturday, according to the Inciweb report. The fire is burning in “brush and second growth timber” in terrain 4-1/2 miles southeast of Lake Shastina with difficult terrain.

The exact numbers of resources were not immediately available as of Saturday evening, but ground crews and aircraft are on scene battling the fire visible from Highway 97 and Interstate 5.