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Helena - Fork Fire

Unit Information

Shasta-Trinity National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3644 Avtech Parkway
Redding, CA 96002

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Helena and Fork Fire Morning Update for September 11, 2017

Helena - Fork Fire Wildfire
News – 9/11/2017

The Helena and Fork Fires are being managed by California Interagency Incident Management Team 3 (CIMT3) with support of state and local resources. The Helena Fire continues to burn near Junction City and Weaverville, CA. The Fork Fire is located north of Monument Peak and southwest of East Fork Lakes in the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

Helena Fire - Date/Time Reported: August 30,2017 Size: 17,105 Containment: 43% Cause: Human - under investigation

Fork Fire - Date/Time Reported: August 7, 2017 Size: 3,447 acres Containment: 0% Cause: Lightning

Helena-Fork Resources: Engines: 64 Crews: 16 Dozers: 24 Water Tenders: 17 Helicopters: 8 Total Personnel: 910

Status: Warmer and drier conditions may result in increased fire activity today. Structure protection measures are complete in the upper Canyon Creek area in the event the fire extends to the road. Line construction will continue from Rattlesnake Gap to the Hayfork Divide. Crews in Glennison Gap are placing hand line north along the Weaver Bally Ridge to the Eagle Ranch contingency line, and continue containment line improvements along 33N45 Road. Direct line construction progresses along the fire. Crews continue to scout for opportunities to place safe containment lines. Suppression repair assessments and rehab are ongoing, and brush along roads is being chipped. On the Fork fire, access plans for the Grasshopper Flats and mine area are being developed. Crews are establishing indirect fireline from Weaver Bally to Monument Peak and north to Granite Peak. Utilizing the ridgeline to the east of the fire’s edge will help minimize suppression impacts in sensitive areas. Additionally, crews are working to improve access to the fire from the Rush Lake trail system for logistical support to ground resources.

Weather and Smoke: There will be one more day of warm and dry conditions before high pressure gives way to an offshore trough. There will be a slight chance for thunderstorm activity tomorrow, primarily over Trinity and Mendocino counties. Dry and seasonable weather is forecast to return by midweek to the area.

Forest Closure Order: AForest Closure Order is in effect for National Forest Lands impacted by the Helena and Fork Fires on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. This order is to protect firefighter and public safety and will remain in effect until the Helena and Fork Fires are declared out. The forest closure orders also apply to hunters.

Wilderness/Recreation Access: The BLM Junction City Campground and Bagdad River Access on Highway 299, Pigeon Campground, and the Grapevine Swimming Hole on East Fork Road are closed. A complete list of roads and trails affected by the forest closure is available on https://Inciweb.nwcg.gov. The Shasta-Trinity National Forest website lists all recreation sites on the Forest to provide alternative recreational opportunities.

The fire situation is dynamic and residents are urged to monitor fire information on InciWeb and on bulletin boards. Every year thousands of wildfires burn millions of acres across the United States. It’s not if, but when the next wildfire will threaten your community. The Fire Adapted Communities website offers information and specific actions you can take, no matter what your role, to reduce your risk to the next wildfire. Let’s work together to protect our communities, please visit http://www.fireadapted.org

State Route 299: Traffic will be conducted by one way continuous escort from mile post 38.35 west to mile post 42.0 east. Officials are estimating 20 - 40 minutes to travel through the area depending on traffic volume. Motorists are advised to use extreme caution when traveling the 299 corridor between Junction City and Big Flat due to potential for rock slides and congested traffic.

Utilities: Trinity Power and Utility District work is mostly complete with the exception of Canyon Creek Road. Frontier Communications is working to restore phone service to all affected areas. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has completed pole replacement and have re-energized power lines in the 299 corridor.

Schools: The Trinity Alps Unified School District (TAUSD), Junction City and Douglas City schools began classes today. Updates are available on the web at www.tausd.org and https://www.facebook.com/douglascityschool.

Trinity County Sheriff’s Office: TCSO is providing public safety within the fire area, making contacts with residents who remain behind, providing evacuation security with roaming patrols, and working with Cal OES in running the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). TCSO has created a telephone line for the public to call when requesting welfare checks on residents who remained in the fire area. That number is (530) 623-8126.

Trinity County Roads: The Trinity County Sheriff has lifted the evacuation for Powerhouse Road, Sundowner Lane, Valdor Road, Upper Road, & Lower Road. Access to the areas above is from Canyon Creek Road only to avoid additional congestion at the Highway 299 roadblock. The Canyon Creek Road closure has moved north to the intersection of Canyon Creek Road and Caprine. The Sheriff’s office will continue to patrol the area and staff road blocks to prevent people from entering evacuated areas. County roads will be repaired and hazard trees will be removed in the near future.

Evacuations: Evacuation orders in parts of the Junction City area have been lifted for RESIDENTS ONLY! Residents need to be aware of the continued fire suppression operations in the area, and the dangers associated with increased traffic. The Red Cross evacuation center located at the First Baptist Church in Weaverville is closed effective 12 p.m. today. The shelter for large animals is at the Trinity High School. Dogs and cats can be taken to the Trinity County Animal Shelter. A distribution center for tools (shovels and rakes) for residents impacted by the fire will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday at Nugget Lane and Glenn Road near the four-way stop in Weaverville (Look for the Lions Club banner). American Red Cross volunteers will also be on site to assist in opening case files for those whose properties were damaged or destroyed by the fire.

Trinity Transit: Regular service will resume on Monday, September 11, 2017. Visit the Trinity Transit Website or call
530-623-1365 before you travel.

Trinity County Environmental Health: Assessment of imminent public health and safety hazards in the affected burn areas continues. Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) debris must be removed immediately. A health emergency grants state and local government permission to enter properties that have been assessed as significantly damaged or destroyed with the specific duty to remove HHW debris from the property to protect the community. HHW must be handled separately from other burn debris and cannot be brought to local landfills. Residents are strongly encouraged to leave all HHW in place – and to not remove any HHW or damaged containers of HHW from their properties. Full details are available at @TrinityDOT. Residents from fire affected areas may dispose of food waste for free at the Junction City Solid Waste Transfer Site. Food waste must be separated from general waste, and you must show ID as proof of residence in affected area.

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