Orleans Complex Fire Update, August 29, 2017
Incident: Orleans Complex Wildfire
ORLEANS, California, August 29, 2017 – The Orleans Complex is comprised of nineteen fires, three of which remain active. The Ukonom Fire is 4,176 acres and is 52 percent contained. The Haypress Fire is 5,387 acres and 0 percent contained. The Burney Fire is 1,360 acres and 0 percent contained. The complex is being managed using a combination of containment and confinement strategies.
Current Fire Situation: Fire activity increased on both the Ukonom and Haypress Fires late yesterday afternoon as the persistent heavy smoke inversion finally lifted.
In the Marble Mountain Wilderness, the Haypress Fire continues to grow northeast up Haypress Creek, across Halfmoon Creek, and toward Round Meadow. Some spotting was observed ahead of the main fire. Favorable conditions overnight allowed firefighters to conduct burning operations on the southwest side of the fire along Forest Road 12N48 south toward Forest Road 12N02. The goal is to tie the fireline into Forest Road 12N26 and to contain the west/southwestern edge of the fire along Forest Road 15N17. Firefighters observed primarily low intensity understory burning with only isolated tree torching. They will continue that operation into this morning for as long as weather conditions permit.
The Ukonom Fire showed little growth overall yesterday, and infrared mapping shows the only remaining heat near the southeast edge of the fire west of Lick and Ukonom Creeks. Some previously unburned islands of vegetation inside the fire perimeter ignited yesterday afternoon. Residents should expect to see smoke from interior burning that is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. However, no activity was observed outside the control area.
Weather: Temperatures are predicted to be slightly cooler today as a weak trough moves across the Pacific Northwest. Strong high pressure is expected to build over the area beginning Thursday, bringing very high temperatures and low relative humidity back into the area.
Air quality: Areas in the vicinity of the fires continue to be impacted by smoke. Smoke stays heavy during the days, and clears during the evening. Conditions generally stay clear through the night and into the morning. Similar conditions can be expected today. Air quality is worst during peaks in the afternoon for all areas. During the day, Happy Camp, Orleans, and Weitchpec will spend most of their time in Very Unhealthy and Hazardous conditions. Yreka, the Scott Valley, Weed, Etna, and Callahan will see Unhealthy and Very Unhealthy levels, and Hoopa and Willow Creek can expect Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups and Unhealthy air quality. Areas adjacent and close to the fires will continue to see the worst air quality. Drivers should be aware of limited visibility and changes in traffic flow. Information on the health effects of smoke and what you can do to reduce your smoke exposure can be found at [https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/smoke.html].
Safety: Bow hunting season is open. Firefighters may be conducting suppression activities in hunting areas. Portions of the Six Rivers and Klamath National Forests are closed. Contact your local ranger station for current closure information. Motorists traveling on State Highway 96 are reminded that there will be numerous firefighting vehicles on the roadway. Please drive with caution.
Closures: The Klamath National Forest has issued Closure Order No. 17-05-801 to close trails, roads, and lands on the Ukonom Ranger District as a result of Orleans Complex fires:
Closure Order No. 17-05-797 closes a portion of the Ukonom and Happy Camp Ranger Districts northeast of the Ukonom Fire
Temporary Flight Restriction Area (TFR): A TFR is in effect over the fire area to provide a safe environment for firefighting aviation operations (http://bit.ly/2ws6uQq).
Fire Restrictions: The Six Rivers National Forest remains under fire restrictions to provide for public and resource safety (http://bit.ly/2wfQ7Ed).
For more information about the Six Rivers National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/srnf, like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SixRiversNF/ or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SixRiversNF.