8/31 Natchez Fire Update
Happy Camp, CA – Today will be warmer and drier. Temperatures on ridges will reach into the 70s and 80’s in valleys. Relative humidity levels will dip into the mid-30s by afternoon. Winds will be light out of the north-northwest 3 to 6 mph. Fuel moisture remains low and no rain is forecast in the short-term.
From Mud Lake north along the northwestern flank and down the eastern flank, hand crews continued chipping and mopping up. They also retrieved pumps, hoses and portable water tanks.
To the west of the active fire perimeter, fire managers continued tactics to keep the fire from advancing west. This includes low-intensity burning near “The Lieutenants” and fireline construction in Cyclone Gap.
Contingency resources will focus today on improving the northern end of Forest Road 4803. They will then join other firefighting crews and equipment working on a contingency fireline which includes Forest Road 18N02, handline and dozer line to tie into the 2017 Eclipse Fire footprint.
Smoke: This morning’s air quality was greatly improved with little ground-level smoke visible around Happy Camp. Periodically, valley temperature inversions will trap ground-level smoke until the heat of the day lifts and dissipates smoke. Air quality and health information are available at http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com and smoke outlooks for NW California and SW Oregon are listed daily on the Natchez Fire’s Inciweb and FaceBook. Information from a temporary air quality monitor located in Happy Camp can be accessed by using the link or the QR code found at the end of this update.
Evacuations: Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office revised the Evacuation levels east of the Fire on August 29th, changing the previous Evacuation Order to a Warning for the isolated parcels under Order and lifting the Warning completely for residents along the South Fork Indian Creek and Grayback Road near Happy Camp. Changes in this law enforcement Order can be obtained directly from the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SiskiyouCountySheriff/. The community of Sunstar remains in a Level 1 evacuation “Ready” status.
Closure Order for Klamath National Forest: The emergency closure area surrounding the Natchez Fire was expanded on August 17th due to fire growth. A full description and map of the closure area are available on Inciweb at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/5948/. Going into or being on National Forest lands, roads, or trails within the closure area is prohibited. Forest Road No. 48 (Grayback Road) remains open to public use.
Closure Order for Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest: Going into or being upon National Forest System lands within the Natchez Fire Closure Area is prohibited. Information and maps about closures for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest can be found at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/5948/.
All forest visitors are encouraged to continue to be cautious with heat, sparks and flame while in the woods. Grasses and dead wood are very dry and can catch fire easily if exposed to hot engines, dragging tow chains or other sources of heat and sparks. National Forest visitors should be aware that hunting seasons have started on Forest lands not closed by the Fire.
A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the fire area for non-firefighting aircraft, including use of unauthorized drones. For more information on why recreational drones are illegal and a potentially deadly mix with wildfires, go to https://www.nifc.gov/drones/.
Happy Camp, CA Air Quality link: https://bit.ly/2o2Z4xf (works best with the Chrome browser)