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Fire in the Hills 

Images from CalFire's battle to contain the Lodge Complex Fire

Usually a popular locale for summer revelers soaking up the music festival scene, Black Oak Ranch north of Laytonville more closely resembles a wartime outpost these days. That's because the ranch is currently serving as CalFire's base camp as it battles the Lodge Complex Fire, a persistent wildfire sparked by lightning at about 6:30 a.m. on July 30. The fire, spurred by strong, erratic winds, spread quickly eastward through northern Mendocino County between Laytonville and Leggett, charring more than 10,700 acres and threatening nearly 60 structures. Eleven people — including eight firefighters — have been injured in the fire, but all injuries have been minor, according to a CalFire spokesman. Officials have evacuated residents from six small towns, and have put evacuation warnings in place elsewhere, while setting up an evacuation center in Leggett. As of the Journal's deadline, CalFire reported the fire to be about 45 percent contained, with more than 2,323 personnel from 61 fire crews and 13 separate agencies on scene to battle the blaze. Local photographer Kim Sallaway has been in the area to document the fight. To see more of his work, check out www.facebook.com/KimSallawayPhotography.

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