Fire officials on Monday lifted evacuation warnings for Lake County's Scotts Valley area as crews strengthened containment lines surrounding the wildfire that had threatened about 300 homes.

Officials also removed a "red flag" warning after gusty winds died down, a positive forecast for firefighters battling three major wildfires in the North Coast region that have burned more than 60,000 acres.

By late Monday, the 4,618-acre wildfire burning on North Cow Mountain in Lake County was 35 percent contained, Cal Fire officials said. The fire continued to burn southeast toward Little Cow Mountain.

Smoke and haze diminished Monday as the fire fight made significant headway, official said.

The Lake County Air Quality Management District forecast air quality for the Lake County basin as good-to-moderate, although areas closed to the fire were experiencing greater air pollution.

Scotts Valley Road was open to residents. However, Mendo Rock Road access to North Cow Mountain was closed at Mill Creek. Mill Creek Road also remained closed.

Near the Colusa-Lake border, fire crews reached about 95 containment of the 16 Complex Fire that burned 17,944 acres in the Rumsey Canyon area.

The wildfire is actually two fires about four miles apart near the junction of Highways 16 and 20 in Colusa County, just east of Lake County.

Firefighters continued to attack hot spots and expected the fire's growth to be minimal.

Crews and equipment that had been working the 16 Complex Fire were being released to other fires, including the Scotts Fire.

Outside Covelo, firefighters reached 97 percent containment late Monday of the North Pass Fire, estimated at 41,983 acres.

Although crews expected to fully contain the fire soon, the blaze was expected to continue burning within the containment area until winter rains.

Nine injures have been reported related to the fire since lightening ignited the blaze Aug. 18. Motorists were warned to avoid affected roads until further notice.

For a full list of road closures related to the North Pass Fire, go to

For specific information about access to Cow Mountain Recreation area and closures, call the Bureau of Land Management at 468-4000.

You can reach Staff Writers Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or and Kerry Benefield at 526-8671 or