By Cathy Locke
Hundreds of firefighters are converging this evening on a remote area of Colusa County where two wildfires have combined.
The 16 Complex fire was reported at 3:49 this afternoon and as of 7:30 p.m. it had burned 500 acres along Highway 16, south of Highway 20, and was 10 percent contained. No structures are threatened.
Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said about an 8-mile stretch of Highway 16 has been closed to traffic from Highway 20 into Rumsey Canyon.
He described the area as very remote, brush-covered terrain. Over the past decade, Berlant said, several fires have occurred in the area, with some burning for weeks because it is so difficult for fire crews to reach.
The cause of the 16 Complex fire has not been determined, but Berlant said the vegetation is extremely dry. Strike teams and firefighting aircraft from throughout Northern California have been assigned to the fire.
People view Labor Day as the end of summer and tend to think that the fire danger diminishes come September, Berlant said, "but this is when things start to really heat up."