Orleans Complex Fire Update for Aug. 23, 2017
Incident: Orleans Complex Wildfire
EUREKA, California, August 23, 2017 The Orleans Complex has 19 fires for a total of 8,621 acres. Thirteen fires have been contained. Six fires remain active: the Ukonom at 3,982 acres (52% contained); the Haypress at 3,001 (0% contained); the Burney at 1,303 (0% contained); the Forks at 243 acres (0% containment); the Frank at 27 acres (0% contained); and the Hooligan at 0.1 acres (0% contained. Active fires are being fought using a combination of containment and confinement strategies.
Firefighters on the Orleans Complex took advantage of favorable weather overnight and conducted a tactical firing operation to remove unburned fuels along Forest Road 15N17. The operation is intended to help confine the Haypress Fire to areas where private property and natural and cultural resources are not threatened.
Both the Ukonom and Haypress fires saw modest growth over the past 24 hours. Smoke has been heavy over the area in recent days, preventing firefighters from using helicopters to assist in firefighting operations. Smoke conditions have improved somewhat and fire managers hope to make retardant and water drops today on areas of active burning on the west side of the Ukonom Fire.
The NorCal Team 2 Incident Management Team will take over management of the Orleans Complex from SoCal Team 3 on Thursday morning.
A Wildland Fire Module crew in the Wooley Creek area of the Marble Mountain Wilderness continues to work to hold the fire north of the creek. Mule packers have established a temporary camp for the crew and made deliveries of supplies to support the crew’s logistical needs. For additional information on mule teams, please visit the Inciweb incident site at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5430/38429/.
Heavy smoke is impacting parts of the region due to several active fires in the Klamath, Six Rivers and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forests. The worst air quality will be in the vicinity of, and to the east and north, of the active fires. The most affected communities are Happy Camp, Seiad Valley, Scott Valley, Yreka, and Weed. Moderate smoke is expected along the Klamath River below Orleans and in the Hoopa Valley. Information on the health effects of smoke and what you can do to reduce your smoke exposure can be found here [https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/smoke.html].
For up-to-date Air Quality Advisory Information, the public can call toll-free 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329), or visit the NCUAQMD website www.ncuaqmd.org. For additional information, please contact: North Coast Air Quality Management District 707 L Street, Eureka, CA 95501, (707) 443-3093.
The continued threat of thunderstorms will make winds unpredictable over the next few days until a cold front passes through to the east and another ridge of high pressure builds over the area later this week. The wind could mean an increase in fire activity. Hotter, drier conditions are expected to return over the weekend.
Bow hunting season is open. Hunters should be aware that firefighting personnel may be conducting suppression activities in hunting areas. Know your target and what lies beyond. Parts of the Forest are closed. Contact your local Ranger Station for current closure information.
The Ten Bear Trailhead leading to the Marble Mountain Wilderness is closed. Hikers wanting to access the wilderness should contact the Orleans District Office (530) 627-3291 or Orleans Complex Fire Information (619) 359-3415 for details on affected trails.
A Temporary Flight Restriction Area (TFR) has been set over the fire area to provide a safe environment for firefighting aviation operations, “If you fly, we can’t.”
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 active wildfire. The closure stretches from the 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.
The Six Rivers National Forest remains under fire restrictions to provide for public and resource safety. 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/.
The forest and the many communities located within and near its boundaries, are mutually dependent on one another. This is particularly true in wildfire prevention and suppression, which is a critical function of the Six Rivers’ fire and aviation management program. Partnerships with tribes and local community organizations, such as fire safe councils, are crucial for preventing wildfires as well as protecting local communities through treatment of hazardous forest fuels.
Cooperators on the incident include representatives from the Karuk, Yurok and Hoopa Tribes, California Conservation Corps, Siskiyou County Sheriff Department, and Caltrans.
For more information about the Six Rivers National Forest, visit us at www.fs.usda.gov/srnf, “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSSixRiversNF, or “follow” us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SixRiversNF.
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