Weather: Today will be mostly sunny becoming partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Winds will be NW at 3-6 mph with gusts up to 10 mph; 15 mph on ridges. Terrain driven upslope/downslope winds will occur with exposed areas having NW wind in the afternoon hours, shifting to NE overnight. Warm, dry weather and smoky skies will continue. Minimum relative humidity will be 30%. Max temperatures: 80-90s in the valleys to mid-80s on the ridges.
Yesterday’s Activities: Low intensity hand firing, assisted by aircraft, continued west of the new primary fireline along the south end of the fire. This work is being done to prevent potential spot fires that could cross the fireline to the east. The fireline was connected to the fire burn scar from the 2017 Eclipse Complex on the south, and will tie into the completed containment line at the South Fork Indian Creek on the north. Aircraft assisted in low intensity firing operations to secure the area between the main fire and the newly constructed fireline west of Mud Lake.
Helicopters continued to drop water as conditions allowed. Patrol and mop up continued on the north half of the fire. Hazard tree removal occurred around Kelly Lake. The structure protection group continued property assessments, reducing fuels around structures, laying hose and installing pumps.
Today’s Activities: The objective continues to be protecting structures, communities and other values at risk to the east and south of the Natchez Fire. Additional resources have arrived to assist in the continuation of low intensity firing operations to secure the new primary line on the south end of the fire. Prep work continues along the new primary fireline north of yesterday’s operations. Fire managers are developing plans for extending the primary fireline west from Mud Lake towards Lookout Mountain, while also scouting contingency lines to the west of the fire. Mop up and patrol will continue on the north half of the fire and along the new primary firelines on the south and west sides of the fire.
Unneeded equipment will be backhauled from the northern secure areas of the fire to be returned to the fire cache for future use. Structure and contingency groups will continue to reduce fuels and install water handling equipment near structures. Firefighters will also assess potential new contingency lines.
Evacuations: The community of Sunstar remains in a Level 1 evacuation “Ready” status. Del Norte County, CA, including the community of Sunstar, has adopted the Oregon three level evacuation process. Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has expanded an Evacuation Order for the area south of the Natchez Fire, near the terminus of the South Fork Road (FSR 17N32), including an additional residence in the South Fork of Indian Creek.
On August 13, 2018, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office modified the prior Evacuation Warning making it effective for all residences accessed by the South Fork Road (FSR 17N32) and residences on or accessed by the Indian Creek/Grayback Road from the intersection with Dolittle Creek, north to West Branch Campground. The warning was issued as a precautionary measure and is still in effect. Those that are in the warning area are reminded to remain vigilant in the possible event that the Evacuation Warning is upgraded to an Evacuation Order.
Closures: Closure Orders are in effect on the Klamath National Forest and Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest within the vicinity of the Natchez Fire. Going into or being upon National Forest System lands within the Natchez Fire Closure Area is prohibited. Information about closures and maps of closure areas specific to the Natchez Fire on both the Klamath and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forests can be found at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/5948/.
Grayback Road (Forest Highway 48) remains open to public travel. Short-term delays may occur.
A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area for non-firefighting aircraft, including drones.
Be sure to check National Forest websites for information about current conditions: www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/klamath/alerts-notices www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/rogue-siskiyou/alerts-notices