Lava fire doubles in size, prompts evacuation warnings in Northern California

A fire sparked by a lightning strike near Mount Shasta in Northern California doubled in size Sunday, prompting evacuation warnings in the area.

The Lava fire erupted on Saturday morning and grew from 220 acres Sunday morning to 550 acres by nightfall, according to the U.S. Forest Service, as temperatures neared triple-digits in the area.

The fire was 20% contained as of Sunday night, the Forest Service said, and evacuation warnings were issued for sections of Highway 97 and an area north of the town of Weed.

Officials said the fire was one of four sparked by lightning strikes in recent days. Although the others had been slowed significantly, officials said the Lava fire was in “rough, rocky terrain” that would prove difficult for firefighters to attack.

Firefighters were trying aerial water drops, but also warned that the presence of a civilian drone had “halted aerial fire suppression operations for a brief time.”

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