Six Rivers National Forest Fire Update – August 15, 2017.
Incident: Orleans Complex Wildfire
EUREKA, California, August 15, 2017 – The Six Rivers National Forest currently has the Orleans Complex consisting of 19 fires for a total of 5,699 acres with 25% containment; the Ruth Complex consists of three (3) fires for a total of 4,602 acres with 35% containment; and the Young Fire on the Gasquet Ranger District in the Siskiyou Wilderness, which is currently around 1,000 acres and is being monitored and confined within the wilderness. Firefighter and public safety is our number one priority.
Orleans Complex: The complex is comprised of two zones, East and West. The East Zone of the complex includes the Ukonom Fire at 3,854 acres (52% contained), the Burney Fire at 1,123 acres (0% contained), and the Frank Fire at 13 acres (0% contained), Hooligan at 0.1 acres (0% contained), Haypress at 420 acres (0% contained) and Zulu 1 through 7 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, old fire lines, or natural feature to reduce the hazards to firefighters, and keep fires in remote areas of the national forest to protect heritage, cultural and natural resources. Contingency lines are being prepped outside of the wilderness area for the Haypress Fire in case the fire moves to the north outside the Marble Mountain Wilderness. Smoke impacts from the Orleans Complex are generally minimal and confined to the Haypress Fire that still is producing a moderate amount of smoke.
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 Potato, Bennett, Happy, Groves, and Hennesey. The crews have finished up most of the work on these fires. Those fires are located north and south of Highway 299 along Forest Route 1.
Ruth Complex: The complex consists of three fires: Dutchman (1,545 acres and 100% contained), Willie (3,007 acres and 20% contained), and Secret (50 acres and 100% contained).
Yesterday, hotshot crews concentrated their efforts on the east side of the Willie Fire, constructing fireline and scouting in the Yolla-Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness for potential hotspots and safe places to suppress the fire directly. Handcrews and bulldozers constructed, improved, and mopped up firelines on the northern side of the fire outside of the wilderness. The western portion of the fire, which is within the North Fork Wilderness, is moderately active. Retardant drops on the ridgelines to keep the fire from spreading to the adjacent private lands were applied last weekend and water bucket drops from helicopters yesterday both helped slow the fire’s spread until ground crews can gain access. Today, crews will continue to work west and south from the northeast corner or the fire.
The Dutchman Fire is 100 percent contained. Firefighters completed containment line construction and will continue to mop up hotspots. Crews will patrol the fire perimeter for the next few days to ensure containment lines continue to hold.
Young Fire: The Young Fire on the Gasquet Ranger District is in the Siskiyou Wilderness. The fire has grown to around 1,000 acres as of yesterday. The fire is spreading toward the Klamath National Forest. The Klamath National Forest has the Prescott Fire just southeast of the Young Fire in the Siskiyou Wilderness. Visitors to these areas are being advised to be aware of those fires and avoid those areas. Limited resources and smoke have prevented good mapping.
Closures: 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 at 619-359-3415 for details on affected trails in that area.
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. The Klamath National Forest, Emergency Closure order number 17-05-797 is at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5433/37176/.
Driving Safety: Motorists traveling on State Highway 96 near Orleans are reminded that there will be large amounts of fire traffic. Please drive with caution.
Vehicular traffic along Mad River Road (County 501) and State Route Highway 36 in Mad River and Ruth has increased significantly due to fire crews accessing the burn areas and fire camps at the USFS Ruth Fire Station and Van Duzen Elementary School on Van Duzen Road. Please drive with extreme caution in these areas.
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): Due to ongoing aerial operations, there are Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) that have been imposed over both the Orleans Complex and the Ruth Complex. This means all non-operations related planes and drones are not allowed within the TFR. Remember “If you fly, we can’t.”
Fire Restrictions: 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: 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/srnf, 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 visithttp://preventwildfireca.org/OneLessSpark/#