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July Complex 2020

Unit Information

Modoc National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
225 W. 8th St
Alturas, CA 96101

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July Complex Update for 7-25-20

July Complex 2020 Wildfire
News – 7/25/2020

July Complex Fire Update

July 25, 2020 - 11:00 a.m.

California Interagency Incident Management Team 12

Mike Nobles, Incident Commander



Information Center: 530-208-5615

Hours of Operation: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.


Special notes: On July 24, the California Interagency Incident Management Team 12 (CIIMT12) assumed command of the July Complex (Caldwell, Allen and Dalton Fires). The IMT brings a high level of skill to address increasing complexity.

There may be increased fire behavior today; smoke, including possible columns, may be visible for many miles around the fires.

Weather: Hot, dry and unstable conditions persist today, with temperature highs of 86-88F. Humidity will be 18-20%. Winds in the morning from the northeast at 4-6 mph with gusts to 10mph, becoming west 4-7 mph in the afternoon. Evening winds should remain light. The warming trend continues into Sunday, with temperatures 89-91F and a chance of thunderstorms. There is a FIRE WEATHER WATCH in effect Monday with potential for abundant lighting on dry fuels.

Current Situation: There is high demand for resources in Northern California due to multiple fires, however, personnel and equipment continue to arrive at the July Complex. Fire managers are looking for opportunities to safely engage the fires while prioritizing firefighter and public safety and protecting values at risk. Life safety will always remain the number one priority. COVID-19 mitigations are being taken to limit exposure risks to firefighters and the public, per CDC guidelines.

Since the start of the Caldwell, Allen, and Dalton Fires, downdraft winds from passing thunder cells have caused unpredictable and erratic fire behavior. Fire was active yesterday, with smoke visible from all directions. Fire crews and aircraft worked to slow fire spread, create new control lines, and enforce existing ones. Fire may be active again today as the inversion breaks. Hot and unstable conditions could contribute to plume development and short-range spotting. Fire is expected to remain fuel-driven with backing and flanking behavior. There could be some short, active runs. Aircraft may perform water drops over the fire today.

Caldwell Fire: The Caldwell Fire remains active, growing to 11,860 acres and is 0% contained. Fire was particularly active on the west and southwest yesterday. The Caldwell Fire is burning in rough and difficult to access terrain; this makes it challenging to safely engage. Today, firefighters will create both direct (at the fire’s edge) and indirect (away from the fire’s edge) control line to limit fire spread. Crews will build control line utilizing existing road and trail systems, building from the Lava Beds National Monument Visitor Center southwest and from the 10 Rd going back west toward the lava fields. The fire is approximately 5 miles from the Medicine Lake area. Structure protection resources are available should they be needed.   

Allen Fire: The Allen Fire is estimated at 948 acres with 60% containment. Yesterday, hand crews and dozers successfully created control line around much of the fire area. Today, firefighters will construct additional control line and perform mop-up (extinguish or remove burning material, fell snags/dangerous trees, remove logs so they will not roll downhill, etc.).

Dalton Fire: The Dalton Fire is approximately 1367 acres and 0% contained. Crews on the Dalton Fire will work to complete line construction and mop-up in order to secure the fire’s edge.

As of tonight, there will be a night operational period on the July Complex. Overnight crews will monitor fire edges and engage in suppression efforts as safety permits. Primary efforts will be on the Caldwell Fire.

Closures and Evacuations: There is a mandatory evacuation in place for the Medicine Lake Recreation Area as the Caldwell Fire threatens to cross Roads 97 and 49 and limit orderly exit. Fire has not reached the campgrounds but is growing in that direction.

For information regarding evacuations, go to the Modoc County Sheriff’s Facebook or Website: www.modocsheriff.us

For More Information:                                                                         

Inciweb:     https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6881/               Facebook:                                    facebook.com/ModocNF

Twitter:     @ModocNF                                  Fire Info Line:      530-208-5615                                          Email: mdffireinfo@gmail.com

July Complex Statistics   Start Date:  July 22, 2020      Location:  Near Canby, CA, on Moboc NF       Size:  11,860 (Caldwell), 948 (Allen), 1367 (Dalton)

Percent Contained:  0% (Caldwell), 60% (Allen), 0% (Dalton)     Cause:  Lightning

Resources: 660 personnel, 27 engines, 18 dozers, 10 water tenders, 7 type 1 helicopters, 6 Type 2 helicopters, 2 Type 3 helicopters