The Camp Fire Could Get Worse

The Camp Fire Could Get Worse

Weekend storms could be a mixed blessing for crews battling California’s largest wildfire, which remains one of the state’s most destructive.

Crews have been battling the blaze since it started Thursday morning and, despite a major rain event this weekend, the Camp Fire is expected to continue weakening, making it harder to contain and more likely to spread, officials said Saturday.

The fire and strong winds are expected to move through California on Sunday morning and Monday morning, bringing a high of up to 88 degrees with gusts to 100 mph, fire officials said, prompting the National Weather Service to issue weather alerts for Northern California.

“The fire is going to get a lot worse and if rain is on the ground, it could get a lot worse,” Cal Fire Capt. Nate Minard said Saturday morning.

The Camp Fire broke out in remote and rugged terrain near the town of Butte County on Thursday. The blaze jumped the state’s largest city, and its rapid growth forced hundreds of thousands of residents to flee. As of Saturday afternoon, the blaze was 85% contained.

More hot spots are expected Sunday. Minard said Saturday could be even worse.

“It could get a lot worse,” he said. “We haven’t hit the ceiling yet.”

Minard said the fire began in the Santa Rosa area, where winds have been gusty and “really, really strong.” But the winds shifted Sunday night to the north, so the fire is expected to shift back west.

“It seems like everything goes in cycles” on the winds, Minard said.

Fire officials say the fire is about 55 miles south of the small community of Paradise, where many evacuees have headed to, and that the fire had grown so large in some areas that they will need more resources to handle the fire.

Aircraft dropped water on hot spots around Butte County, north of Paradise, Thursday night. They were replaced with firefighting aircraft Saturday morning. The air tankers dropped water in the hillsides of the fire, and then began going back and forth on the ground using bulldozers to move

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