Mendocino National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
825 N. Humboldt Ave.
Willows, CA 95988
August Complex North Zone Fire Update
September 25, 2020
Incident Commander: Norm McDonald
Start Date: 08/17/2020 Location: Shasta-Trinity NF; Six Rivers NF; Mendocino NF
Cause: Lightning Fire Size (All Zones): 867,335acres
Containment: 40%Personnel (North Zone): 917
(Redding, CA) – State Route 36 is closed from the junction with State Route 3 to South Fork Mountain Road due to fire operations. Estimated time of reopening is dependent on fire operations and fire behavior. Officials will be onsite directing traffic.
Firefighters have been using strategic firing operations to reduce unburned fuels between Rattlesnake Ridge and South Fork Trinity River. Weather conditions permitting, firefighters plan to use similar tactics today to reduce unburned fuels east of Forest Glen, between the fire and State Route 36. Increased fire traffic and smoky conditions have closed the highway as firefighters work to complete this critical portion of fireline. Halting traffic will help keep our firefighters safe while working in these challenging conditions.
Crews are working day and night to complete the firelines above Ruth Lake ahead of a forecasted wind shift. Dozers and masticators are supporting handcrews to bring the fire down to containment lines. This is an area of prime concern, with the predicted wind shift and critical fire weather expected this weekend. A Fire Weather Watch is in effect from early Sunday morning through Monday morning.
There are 10 helicopters assigned to the North Zone of the fire, using water drops to help firefighters on the ground to cool hot spots. Aerial supervision guides crews as they build and strengthen containment lines from Ruth north to Forest Glen. Helicopters and airtankers will be assisting firefighters east of Forest Glen and along State Route 36 today as well.
Crews are moving from less active areas, where they have completed their work on containment lines such as south of Ruth, Flying AA Ranch, Rat Trap and Stuart Gap. These crews are being reassigned to assist with operations around Ruth and Forest Glen.
“Crews in Post Mountain and Trinity Pines are testing pumps and hose lays” said Operations Section Chief Karen Scholl, “to be ready in case the fire crosses Highway 36.” Work on the fuel break surrounding the community is nearly complete.
Weather conditions yesterday were cooler and relative humidities were higher. Western portions of the North Zone received light showers. The weather will be transitioning to north winds today and tomorrow, with temperatures forecast to be in the 90s by Sunday. A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for critical fire weather conditions starting Sunday morning. High temperatures, winds gusting to 25 mph on ridges and exposed areas, along with low relative humidities will create extremely dry fuel conditions conducive to active fire behavior.
· Ruth and Ruth Lake
· Forest Glen
· Post Mountain/Trinity Pines
· Three Forks
· Mad River
· Hettenshaw Valley
· The north area of Ruth Lake from Journey’s End to Highway 36
· Zenia and Kettenpom
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. The closure has been extended until September 30th. Selected forests have increased access. 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.
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
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