Red fire expected to be fully contained Thursday; rain forecast for next 2 days will help

Fire crews hope to fully contain a wildfire by Thursday that has scorched just under 350 acres 30 miles southeast of Blue Lake.

"We have not had a fire this big, this time of the year, in a couple of decades," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Paul Duncan said. "It's very unusual, especially on the coast."

The Red Fire started around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and was 65 percent contained by Tuesday morning, according to Cal Fire.

"Our fuels are very dry because of our historic lack of precipitation we've had," Duncan said. "But the biggest factor was the single digit humidity the night of the fire."

The night the fire began, humidity was in the 6 to 7 percent range -- normal is 40.

"That, in combination with the wind, really caused the fire to spread," Duncan said.

A slight precipitation of one-tenth to one-fifteen hundredths of an inch forecast for today and Thursday in the Humboldt Bay and Snow Camp areas is expected to help crews battle the blaze.

"The weather is looking favorable for that fire in terms of the relative humidity is going to be pretty high, and the winds won't be very strong," National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Tonkin said. "It may not be enough to put the fire out, but it's definitely going to put a damper on it."

Lorna Rodriguez can be reached at 441-0506 or lrodriguez@times-standard.com. Follow her on Twitter @LornaARodriguez.

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