KEY POINTS

  • The Zogg Fire in Shasta County, California, burned through over 50,000 acres within three days
  • Cal Fire said crews have failed, thus far, in trying to contain the wildfire
  • Exhausted fire crews are hoping for a reprieve thanks to weakening winds in northern California

The Zogg Fire is the latest wildfire in northern California continuing to grow almost unabated Wednesday as tired fire crews already spread thin turned their attention to it this week.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said they are hoping to make some progress Wednesday as winds are expected to die down and stop spreading embers.

“Luckily today mother nature gave us a break, and we didn't have those big north winds that we saw in the last couple of days,” Cal Fire Public Information Officer Jimmy Zanotelli told Redding ABC-affiliate KRCR on Tuesday. “So I think in the next few days see some of that containment levels come up but at this point.”

However, he said the recent spate of dry weather in the region may still be enough fuel to help the fire’s spread without the wind.

“The fuel moistures are so dry right now so even when you don't have any wind you still have topography,” Zanotelli said. “What we just saw earlier, when that tree torched off, it kind of created its own wind and carried it uphill and so we still have to be cautious at all portions of the fire including the north and south side.”

The Zogg Fire started in Shasta County around 4 p.m. Monday, though the cause remains under investigation. It had consumed over 50,000 acres by Wednesday with none of it contained by fire crews. However, Cal Fire said it was trying to establish lines ahead of the blaze to hopefully contain part of it by the end of the week.

Cal Fire reported three people were killed, but the bodies have not been identified, and over 145 structures have also been damaged or destroyed by the fire. Roughly 700 firefighters were deployed to fight the Zogg Fire since Monday, many of whom are battling exhaustion after nearly two months of combating wildfires across the state.

The August Complex Fire remains the most devastating of the current wildfires burning through the state. It’s consumed over 938,000 acres of land since it started on Aug. 16 and damaged or destroyed at least 56 structures. As of Wednesday, Cal Fire said crews had managed to contain 43% of the fire.

Firefighters keep watch on an approaching fire line on the outskirts of Santa Rosa, on September 27, 2020: the wildfire quickly spread over the mountains and reached Santa Rosa where it has begun to affect homes. Firefighters keep watch on an approaching fire line on the outskirts of Santa Rosa, on September 27, 2020: the wildfire quickly spread over the mountains and reached Santa Rosa where it has begun to affect homes. Photo: AFP / Samuel Corum