Bay Area fires: Weather benefits firefighters battling LNU Lightning Complex Fire in Lake County

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- The LNU Lightning Complex Fire has burned more than 356,000 acres in Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo and Lake counties with 27% containment as of Tuesday night. CAL FIRE has shifted a lot of their focus to Lake County's Middletown, Hidden Valley Lake, and Lower Lake -- an area hit hard by fires multiple times in recent years.

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For much of Tuesday afternoon, flames could be seen on the hillside off of Butts Canyon Road, southeast of Middletown. The apocalyptic sight is now one of the main fire focuses for CAL FIRE.

"I honestly expected CAL FIRE to buckle and just get overwhelmed by it... they have held up remarkably well," says Jack Leiser of Lake County.

On Tuesday, we came across firefighters spraying the hillside with water and others taking to the air. We saw multiple fire retardant drops from airplanes. Neighborhoods near these Middletown hills have burned in the past and there is now a hope that it won't happen again.

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"There is a little bit of déja vu but what are you going to do, the human condition is to power through so you can't lay down," says Kurt Kritikos.

Kritikos and Leiser live and work in the hills on the outskirts of Middletown and aren't backing down. They're not firefighters but they've got two massive water trucks and have been using dozers to clear land and protect their property. "We did our part and put up fire lines around this valley and saved it cause I like looking at green trees instead of charred ones," says Kritikos.

Firefighters showed us the area of concern Tuesday afternoon, saying that some of the same areas that burned in past fires are burning again.



"It does tend to go in the same area twice. Not with much intensity the second time because most of the fuel has burned," says Scott Ross, who is a Shasta County fire inspector.

While we were told of one structure that had burned in the hills, those we talked with weren't aware of any others that had burned off of Butts Canyon Road. Crews though are still focused on putting out the flames.

Winds have not been strong Tuesday and firefighters we talked with believe that will help going forward.

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