Modoc National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
225 W. 8th St
Alturas, CA 96101
July Complex Fire Update July 31, 2020 - 8 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: There is a RED FLAG WARNING until 8 p.m.
Because of successful firefighting efforts, RESIDENTS ONLY have been allowed to return to private cabins at Medicine Lake. Cabin owners should use extreme caution on the roads. U.S. Forest Service campgrounds, recreational areas, and day-use areas at Medicine Lake will stay closed to support firefighters.
Weather: Today will be sunny, dry, and hot with gusty winds, with a high of 96 and humidity below 10%. Afternoon winds are predicted to be southwest at 12 to 17 mph with gusts up to 28 mph. This combination of strong winds and low humidity will result in Red Flag conditions this afternoon into tonight. Long-term weather trends are forecast to stay hot, breezy, dry and unstable. No rain or thunderstorms are predicted for the next seven days.
Current Situation: The Caldwell Fire was tested yesterday by Red Flag conditions, and the fire stayed within control lines. The fire is now 79,316 acres and 61% contained. Firefighters expanded and reinforced fire control lines around a majority of the fire yesterday. Smoke was visible as Caldwell Butte and other areas within the interior of the fire continued to burn. The southwest part of the fire is active, and crews implemented burning operations to keep the fire from moving toward Medicine Lake. Firefighters are still scouting for and creating secondary control lines between the fire and the lake. The fire is holding at the 49 Road in Lava Beds National Monument (also known as the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway). Tule Lake, on the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge at the north side of the fire, has minimal fire activity. On the east side within the Modoc National Forest, the fire stayed back along County Road 120 and along control lines around the burn area east of the railroad tracks. BNSF Railway’s fire train has left the fire after effective service and returned to its base at Klamath Falls, OR. Night resources remain on the Caldwell fire, aiding daytime efforts.
Red Flag conditions may lead to increased fire behavior today, and drought stressed fuels are still holding heat for long periods of time. Any new starts could show active fire behavior today.
To mitigate COVID-19 risks, fire personnel are spread through three fire camps, with strict COVID-19 precautions in place.
Today, firefighters remember and honor a fellow firefighter, Dave Ruhl, who died in the line of duty on a wildfire in Modoc County on July 31, 2015.
Allen and Dalton Fires: The Allen and Dalton fires should soon be in monitor-only status. Firefighters are taking suppression repair actions, and managers are planning to transfer command of these fires back to the Modoc National Forest.
Fire managers will employ tactics that safely engage fire 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.
Closures and Evacuations: The Medicine Lake recreation area is CLOSED, including campgrounds, recreation areas and day-use areas. The Lava Beds National Monument remains closed.
For More Information: Facebook: facebook.com/ModocNF Twitter: @ModocNF
July Complex Statistics: Start Date: July 22, 2020. Location: Approx. 31 miles NW of Canby CA, on the Modoc National Forest. Cause: Lightning. Size: 79,316 (Caldwell), 1035 (Allen), 1,367 (Dalton). Percent Contained: 61% Caldwell, 100% Allen, 100% Dalton. Resources: 1663 personnel, 101 engines, 23 dozers, 36 water tenders, 8 available helicopters.