Update on wildfires

firechart

Six Rivers National Forest

EUREKA, California, August 11, 2015, 10 AM – Mandatory evacuations of Forest Glen went into effect today, August 11 at 8:00 am. Last night steady winds continued to keep fire behavior active.

Gasquet Complex – Gasquet Ranger District: There are six fires on the Gasquet Complex—Bear, Coon, Peak, Summit, Williams and Feeder—totaling 2,288 acres, with 20 percent containment and 474 personnel.

Firefighter safety continues to be a concern due to steep, rugged terrain and long distances between fires. The incident involves multiple tactical operations, including direct/indirect fireline construction, heavy equipment use, tree felling and firing operations.

Steep terrain and heavy fuels makes fireline construction very slow. Isolated single tree torching was observed on the Feeder and Peak fires mid-afternoon after the relative humidity (RH) dropped below 40 percent.  All fires continue to back downslope into the drainages. 

The Red Flag warning issued for the fire area will continue for much of the day. Gusty winds and borderline RH could present problems with increased activity in inaccessible areas.  Forecasted winds from the southwest are expected to reach12 to 17 miles per hour, with possible gusts of 35 miles per hour, and a marginal possibility for precipitation.   

Closures: A closure order has been issued for the Bear Basin Butte Lookout, Island Lake Trailhead, and Doe Flat Trailhead. The forest requests that visitors avoid the South Kelsey Trail, Summit Trail, the Gunbarrel Trail and the Gasquet-Orleans Road.

Orleans Ranger District: The district has four fires (Sawtooth, Rough, Creek, and Nickowitz). The Sawtooth Fire, confirmed at 7 acres, is being patrolled by aircraft. Acres burned for the Rough and Creek fires are unavailable at this time.

The Nickowitz Fire is 1,100 acres, 25 percent containment and 268 personnel. Firefighters continued to construct direct and indirect fireline, continued burnout operations east on FS Road 14N02, and ensured containment lines held.

River Complex – Lower Trinity Ranger District: The three fires on the River Complex have burned 21,072 acres, with 12 percent containment and 644 personnel. Despite a weather disturbance producing strong winds from the south, operations were successful on the River Complex Fire yesterday. Crews held and strengthened firelines and scouted unstaffed portions of the fire, planning for future operations. As the fire burned actively through the night, crews patrolled fire lines and monitored burn activity on the perimeter.   

Most of the growth of the fire yesterday was on the southeast portion near Big Mountain. Fire progression is expected to continue in that area today.  Firefighters will look for opportunities to build contingency lines in that region. Dozers have constructed several contingency lines between Trinity Village and the western flank of the fire.

A Red Flag Warning continues for the fire area until 8 pm. The impacts of the weather system are expected to continue throughout the day.

Closures: Forest area closures are in effect on the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity national forests. For more information on these closures, visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/4431/26432/. A hard road closure (no travel allowed) is in effect on Denny Road at the junction of FS Road 7N26 at Onion Saddle. Forest area, trail, and road closures are in effect on the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forests. 

Evacuations: The Trinity County Sheriff’s Department mandatory evacuations are still in effect for Denny (including Quinby), Dailey, Hoboken and Bell Flat areas due to increased fire activity.

Mad River Complex – Mad River Ranger District: The three fires on the Mad River Complex have burned 19,963 acres, with 38 percent containment and 1,138 personnel. Mandatory evacuations of Forest Glen went into effect today, August 11, at 8 AM.

Last night steady winds continued to keep fire behavior active. Firefighters took action on several spot fires outside containment lines. Success was achieved on firing operations in several locations throughout the complex. Strong winds over the next two days will test our control lines.

Lassic Fire (2,491 acres): The fire was very active during the night and is expected to cross Blanket Creek to the north. Firefighting efforts continue in the wilderness and dozer lines are being established in the surrounding area.

Gobbler Fire (8,243 acres): Fireline construction to the north side and burnouts on the West Side Road were successful yesterday Crews will be in a patrol and holding status today.

Pickett Fire (9,229 acres): Containment lines along the western perimeter of the fire are holding.  Structure protection is in place for the Forest Glen area. The fire spotted across the dozer line west of Hwy. 36 and Forest Glen yesterday. Crews are continuing to burn out off of the 1326 and 1S26 Roads today, structure protection engines and hoselays are in place.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued for today by the National Weather Service. Strong winds and low humidity are expected today into the evening. Fire behavior is expected to be very active with the potential for long range spotting.

Evacuations: To remain informed on evacuation status of the area, call the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 623-2611. Advisory evacuations are in place for the Swayback Ridge area, and for residents along the Van Duzen Road (County Road 511) from the dump south to the intersection of the Ruth-Zenia Road (County Road 502). :  A mandatory evacuation order is in place for residents in the Forest Glen area, which is on Highway 36 west of Trinity Pines. Residents around Ruth Lake are under a mandatory evacuation. The evacuation includes the Lower Mad River Road (County Road 501) from Highway 36 to the Three Forks Road and the southwest side of the lake from the Ruth-Zenia Road north to the Ruth Dam.

Closures: The Shasta-Trinity National Forest has issued a forest closure order that includes the area near Forest Glen that begins at the intersection of Highway 36 and Rattlesnake Road (FS Road 29N58) and continues west and south along Highway 36 to the intersection with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest boundary.

Highway 36 is under a hard closure from the community of Forest Glen to the junction with Van Duzen Road. A soft closure (residents with IDs allowed) is in effect on the Van Duzen Road from the junction of Highway 36 to the Ruth-Zenia Road, as well as on Lower Mad River Road from the junction with Highway 36 to the Flying Double A Ranch.

Route Complex – Mad River Ranger District: The three fires of the Route Complex—Buck, Johnson, and Chance—have burned 25,332 acres, with 17 percent containment and 812 personnel assigned. The Route Complex has assumed management of the Pelletreau Fire as of today, which was formerly part of the South Complex. This allows South Complex fire managers to focus on the fires north east of Hyampom. The Pelletreau Fire is now part of the Johnson Fire; as a result an additional 5,092 acres were added to the Johnson Fire.

On the west portion of the Johnson Fire, firefighters continue to make progress on creating a fuel break by removing brush and small timber. Burnout operations are planned over the next few days to secure the west side of the Johnson Fire along Pilot Ridge. In the area just above Hyampom, the Johnson Fire continues to slowly back down the hill toward Forest Service Road 3N14. Several spot fires are being attacked in the northeast part of the fire. A dozer line has been constructed around structures to protect them in case the fire advances toward them.

Fire crews continue to mop up and patrol containment lines around the Buck and Chance Fires.

A single vehicle rollover occurred on the northern part of the Johnson Fire last night resulting in minor injuries to the single occupant. The firefighter was treated at an area hospital and released to his home unit.

The fire weather watch that was forecasted for today has been canceled. Today, southerly winds near ridge tops are expected to be approximately 20-25 mph across the Complex.

Closures: The following roads are closed to non-residents: Highway 36 from the junction of the Van Duzen Road to the Lower Mad River Road and the Van Duzen Road from the junction with Highway 36 to Ruth-Zenia Road.

The following roads are closed to all traffic: Highway 36 from the junction with Lower Mad River Road to Forest Glen. Forest Route 1 five miles north of Highway 36 at FS Road 2N12 and at FS Road 4N18.

For public and firefighter safety, an area closure order has been implemented on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. A description of the closure area may be found at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/4447/26507/. An area closure is expected for the Six Rivers National Forest early in the week.

Smoke has decreased visibility across the forest. Smoke conditions may limit visibility on local roads and highways. Motorists are urged to use caution when travelling in the forest due to the smoke hazard and the potential of firefighters working along the roadways.

Heavy smoke is also impacting air quality. The North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD) recommends the public restrict outdoor activity. For air quality information and specific advisories, visit www.ncuaqmd.org.

Firefighter and public safety continues to be the highest priority. To date, there have been three minor firefighter injuries reported.

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