Orleans Complex Fire Update 9/7/17
Incident: Orleans Complex Wildfire
ORLEANS, California, September 7, 2017 – In late July, a series of thunderstorms passed through northern California igniting 19 fires, three of which remain active. The Ukonom Fire is 4,234 acres; Haypress Fire is 17,223 acres; Burney Fire is 1,451 acres. The complex is being managed using a combination of containment and confinement strategies.
Evacuations: A mandatory evacuation order is in effect for residents east of Highway 96 between Rogers Creek Road (FR 12N52) and Ti Creek. An advisory evacuation warning remains in effect for residents east of Highway 96 from Burns Creek south to Ti Creek, from Rogers Creek Road south to Somes Bar, and along the Salmon River Road to Wooley Creek. Residents can stay informed of changing conditions by calling the fire information number (530-572-1129) or by watching for updates at http://www.facebook.com/SixRiversNF or https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5430/
Current Fire Situation: This morning NorCal Team 1 assumed management of the Orleans Complex, returning to Orleans for the second time this summer. “Given the status of the fires, and the limited resources available, we will continue to operate under incident objectives focused on point protection of residences and other structures in the vicinity of the Haypress Fire along Highway 96 and the Salmon River Road,” said Incident Commander Curtis Coots. Last night, firefighters successfully used strategic ignitions to establish blackened fire line along a portion of the 13N12 road, before rain began falling on the fire about 5:30 this morning.
The Haypress Fire continued to back down slowly in the Stanshaw Creek drainage. On the southern flank of Merrill Mountain, the fire backed and flanked across the slope as burning material rolled down the hillside igniting vegetation. As of this morning, the fire is still approximately ½ mile from the closest structures along Highway 96.
No significant activity was reported on the Ukonom or Burney Fires.
Weather: Subtropical moisture has moved into the area bringing thunderstorms over the region. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for thunderstorms with the possibility of heavy rain, abundant lightning, hail and gusty erratic winds for today.
Air quality: Wetting thunderstorms passing through the area are likely to improve air quality. Today, air quality for Orleans will be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, while Weitchpec and Hoopa will have Moderate air quality. Tomorrow smoke is likely to drift more toward the Lower Klamath drainage between Orleans and Willow Creek. Upper Klamath (Seiad Valley/Happy Camp) and Salmon River (Sawyers Bar) are likely to have slight improvement over the last couple days, but remain in the Unhealthy category.
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. Should the fire reach the road, drivers can expect periods of limited visibility and possible traffic controls, including controlled traffic and potential intermittent hard closures.
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 http://www.facebook.com/SixRiversNF, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SixRiversNF.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.