Six River National Forest Fire Update-Aug. 13, 2017
Incident: Orleans Complex Wildfire
EUREKA, California, August 13, 2017 – The Haypress fire, located in the Marble Mountain Wilderness near Wooley Creek, was the most active fire in the Orleans Complex. Haypress grew to almost 131 acres. Several cabins in the wilderness are currently threatened, crews will be working on structure protection around the historic buildings and trail bridges.
The Orleans Complex is comprised of two zones, East and West. The East Zone of the complex includes the Ukonom Fire at 3854 acres (52% contained), the Burney Fire at 1123 acres (0% contained), and the Frank Fire at 13 acres (0% contained), Hooligan at 0.1 acres (0% contained), Haypress at 131 acres (0% contained) and Zulu 1 through 8 that range from 0.1 acres to 24 acres. In the West Zone of the complex, the Forks Fire remains the largest at 244 acres (0% contained). Terrain in the fire area is steep, rugged and remote. Crews continue to use a confinement strategy focused on existing roads and fire lines to reduce the hazards to firefighters, and keep fires in remote areas of the national forest to protect heritage, cultural and natural resources.
Increased smoke production from several fires in the northwest California region are impacting communities in the northern Klamath River drainage and Scott Valley. The communities surrounding Happy Camp, Yreka, Fort Jones, Etna and Callahan will continue to see heavy smoke impacts as westerly winds drift smoke eastward. On the southern portion of the Klamath River drainage, including Hoopa and Willow Creek, hazy skies and moderate smoke conditions are expected to remain.
The Ten Bear Trailhead leading to the Marble Mountain Wilderness is closed. Hikers wanting to access the wilderness should contact the Orleans Ranger District Office at 530-627-3291 or Orleans Complex Fire Information for details on affected trails.
A Temporary Flight Restriction Area (TFR) has been set over the Orleans Complex to provide a safe environment for firefighting aviation operations.
A portion of the Happy Camp Ranger District, in the vicinity of the Ukonom Fire, is closed to public entry for the duration of the fire due to the risks associated with an active wildfire. The closure stretches from the east bank of the Klamath River east to the Independence Creek Road and includes Ukonom Creek. Please review Klamath National Forest, Emergency Closure order number 17-05-797 for complete details at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ incident/article/5433/37176/.
Motorists traveling on State Highway 96 are reminded that there will be large amounts of fire traffic. Please drive with caution.
On the Lower Trinity Ranger District there are five small fires that the public may see as they travel along Forest Route 1. Those fires are Potatoe, Bennett, Happy, Groves, and Hennesey. There is very little fire activity on any of those fires. Those fires are located north and south of Highway 299 along Forest Route 1.
California Interagency Incident Management Team 5, a Type 1 team lead by Incident Commander Mike Minton, assumed management of the Ruth Complex at 6:00 P.M. yesterday. The Ruth Complex consists of 4 fires: Dutchman (1,545 acres), Willie (1,600 acres), Secret (50 acres) and Spout (4 acres).
The Dutchman and the Secret Fires are located south of Ruth Lake and north of Shannon Butte. Today on the Dutchman Fire, firefighters will focus on constructing and strengthening containment lines. Crews are also protecting a structure on the north side of the fire. The Secret Fire has not increased in size for two days. Crews expect to complete mop up operations today.
The Willie Fire began east of State Route 502 and south of Packwood Flat, in the North Fork Wilderness. Fire behavior has been moderate with short runs up slopes and spotting. The fire continues to spread eastward and has reached the northwestern edge of the Yolla-Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness. Today crews will rely on helicopters to assist with containment activities along the eastern and northern portions of the fire. Structure protection firefighters will are protecting the line cabin on the southern side of the fire.
The Spout Fire is located southeast of Ruth Lake. Crews have successfully contained this fire and will monitor the area for the next several days.
Due to ongoing aerial operations, a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) has been imposed over the Ruth Complex. This means all non-operations related planes and drones are not allowed within the TFR. In the next few days the Ruth Complex will be using planes on Ruth Lake that can scoop up water to help with the firefighting operations in this complex. Visitors to Ruth Lake, please listen to all safety precautions from fire team or Sheriff’s Office while these scooping operations are taking place.
The Young Fire on the Gasquet Ranger District is in the Siskiyou Wilderness. We have limited staffing on this fire due to the steep terrain and the many hazardous trees. Our is to confine the fire within the wilderness. The fire will be monitored to ensure that it remains in the wilderness. The Klamath National Forest has the Prescott Fire just southeast of the Young Fire in the Siskiyou Wilderness so wilderness visitors are being advised to be aware of those fires and avoid those areas.
The Six Rivers National Forest remains under fire restrictions to provide for public and resource safety. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, is prohibited except in designated areas, details about these restrictions can be found on the Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/srnf.
For more information, smoke forecasts, maps and photographs please visit the Orleans Complex Inciweb site at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ incident/5430/.
For more information about the Ruth Complex or the Six Rivers National Forest, go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ incident/5492/, www.fs.usda.gov/SMF, www.facebook.com/ USFSSixRiversNF, www.twitter.com/SixRiversNF.
There is always the risk of starting a wildfire. For more information on how wildfires can be prevented, remember “One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire” and visit http://preventwildfireca.org/ OneLessSpark/