Mendocino National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
825 N. Humboldt Ave.
Willows, CA 95988
August Complex North Zone Fire Update
September 23, 2020
Incident Commander: Norm McDonald
Start Date: 08/17/2020 Location: Shasta-Trinity NF; Six Rivers NF; Mendocino NF
Cause: Lightning Fire Size: 859,966 (All Zones)
Containment: 39% Personnel (North Zone): 788
(Redding, CA) – Critical fire weather is expected today and Thursday as a trough of low pressure moves through the area. Winds out of the southwest at 10-20 mph are expected to clear the air on the western portion of the fire, and aid firefighters working around and north of Ruth. Helicopters and airtankers will be working today as the inversion lifts this morning. These winds, gusting to 25 mph on the ridges, will also challenge containment lines on the north and west perimeter. Spotting up to 1 mile ahead of the fire is possible.
The “surge resources," Type 2IA fire crews on loan from other fires, are working day and night to strengthen the dozer lines south of Highway 36, handline down from Rattlesnake Ridge, and contingency dozer line along the 29 Road to the east of the fire. The North Structure Group continues to work to improve access in Post Mountain/Trinity Pines, and widen the existing fuel break that the Forest Service has built surrounding the community. Dozer lines are nearly complete to the south and west of these communities.
“What we’d like to do is keep that fire south of Highway 36 and keep that highway open,” said Incident Commander Norm McDonald. “But I think one thing we’ve got to get across is that it’s going to be a tough order, considering the fire behavior that we have and the weather conditions that we having coming over the next few days.”
Yesterday, improved air quality allowed helicopters and airtankers to assist crews working on the ground above Ruth. Heavy equipment bosses are working with dozer crews to cut two lines above Ruth Lake. Strategic firing operations are also being used while winds and weather are favorable to strengthen these lines and protect the homes and businesses there. Structure assessment and protection is ongoing in the area.
The winds that cleared the air in Ruth and Forest Glen are bringing increased smoke to the communities to the north and east of the fire. Air quality is expected to remain poor in Post Mountain, Trinity Pines and Hayfork through Thursday evening, when winds are expected to shift again to the northwest.
Although resources are limited, engines crews continue to patrol and mop up portions of the perimeter on the east and west portions of the North Zone. This includes the control lines south of Ruth and in the west near Yolla Bolly.
Know Before You Go
Stay safe when hunting by following these tips:
· Many hunting areas are closed due to wildfire activity. Check local districts and forests for closure orders.
· Be alert when hunting near developed areas and trails. Firefighters are in the forest as well.
· For more information visit the following at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/know-before-you-go
Fire Information/Media Line: (530) 628-0039 ♦ Email: 2020.Elkhorn@firenet.gov
inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6983/ ♦ www.facebook.com @ShastaTrinityNF; @SixRiversNF; @MendocinoNF
· Ruth, Forest Glen, and Post Mountain/Trinity Pines
· The southeast area of Ruth Lake up to and including Journey’s End
· Mad River, Hettenshaw Valley, Zenia, Kettenpom and the north area of Ruth Lake from Journey’s End to Highway 36
The Temporary Evacuation Point is Hayfork Fairgrounds. Evacuees can proceed there to receive hotel accommodation instructions and will be asked to proceed to a hotel in Lewiston or Weaverville for safe, non-congregate sheltering.
Additional Evacuation information can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/6983/55716/
Forest Closures: Shasta-Trinity, Mendocino, and Six Rivers National Forests.
Due to the unprecedented wildfires in California, the Pacific Southwest Region previously closed all 18 National Forests. All fire restrictions are still in place, prohibiting the use of gas stoves, campfires, etc., and the Six Rivers National Forest will remain closed until September 24, 2020. On Saturday, September 19, 2020 selected forests increased access. The Shasta-Trinity National Forest has opened areas outside fire closures, however areas may prohibit dispersed camping and overnight use. For specific information for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest please visit; https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/stnf/forestorders,for the Mendocino National Forest please visit; https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mendocino/alerts-notices, and for the Six Rivers National Forest visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/srnf/alerts-notices.
It is critical that all national forest visitors follow these important closures and restrictions for their own safety and the safety of our firefighters.
Cooperating Agencies: Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Mendocino Sheriff’s Office, Trinity County OES, Humboldt County OES, California Highway Patrol, National Weather Service, BLM, Cal OES, CAL FIRE