Mendocino National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
825 N. Humboldt Ave.
Willows, CA 95988
August Complex North Zone Fire Update
September 26, 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): 870,200acres
Containment: 43%Personnel (North Zone): 995
(Redding, CA) – State Route 36 is closed from the junction with State Route 3 on the east to South Fork Mountain Road at South Fork Mountain Summit on the west. Estimated time of reopening is dependent on fire operations and fire behavior. County officials will be on site directing traffic.
A Red Flag Warning goes into effect Sunday morning for critical fire weather. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures are forecast through Monday. Winds are predicted to come out of the north/north east at 15 to 20 mph, gusting to 40 mph on exposed areas and ridgetops. Extreme fire behavior is possible where the predicted weather conditions align with terrain.
Firefighters are doing everything they can to keep the fire south of State Route 36. Aircraft will assist the firefighters as they work to secure the northeast corner near Forest Glen. Strategic firing operations will continue to reduce unburned fuels between the highway and the fire. This will decrease the intensity of the fire as it approaches the road, and support firefighters in their efforts to hold the fire south of Route 36.
Firefighters are working with dozers and other heavy equipment east of Ruth to “secure, control and gain depth along the fireline there,” said Operations Section Chief Jon Glover. This is critical operation to complete before the wind shift on Sunday. “We are really trying to button up the control lines in the Ruth area ahead of the forecast wind shift,” said Planning Operations Section Chief Karen Scholl.
Firefighters in Post Mountain/Trinity Pines continue to clean up the dozer line, assess and test pumps and hoses.
Over 120 firefighters are working through the night in the most critical areas of the fire. Handcrews, engines, and dozers are holding and strengthening the control lines from South Fork Mountain down to the South Fork Trinity River. “Night shift is really hard duty, some of the most dangerous that we do is at night, and we appreciate all that you’re doing out there,” said Incident Commander Norm McDonald expressing his appreciation for the crews.
Firefighters on the ground were assisted by aircraft yesterday outside of Forest Glen. Helicopters and single engine airtankers dropped thousands of gallons of water, and a VLAT, or very large air tanker, was used to drop retardant. This is a temporary holding tactic that gives crews on the ground time to get in place and use handtools and heavy equipment to secure the fireline. Waterdrops from helicopters are used to supply water to crews working on hot spots in areas that are not plumbed with pumps and a water source. Skidgines, dozers and masticators are just some of the heavy equipment working on firelines on the northernmost perimeter of the fire south of State Route 36.
· 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/
State Route 36 is CLOSED from the junction with State Route 3 to South Fork Mountain Road (Trinity County) Ruth Zenia Rd continues to be CLOSED east of Lower West Side Rd AND Lower Mad River at Sheriff's Cove, 0.5 miles south of Ruth Dam. All east side of Ruth Lake, and Ruth area roads are closed. All Roads within the Trinity Pines/Post Mountain Subdivision remain closed due to Evacuation Order. This includes Trinity Pines Dr, Rattlesnake Rd, Post Mountain Road and all county and private roads within the subdivision.
Forest Closures: Shasta-Trinity, Mendocino, and Six Rivers National Forests.
Due to the unprecedented wildfires in California, the Pacific Southwest Region has closed 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 FIREAugust Complex