Mendocino National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
825 N. Humboldt Ave.
Willows, CA 95988
August Complex North Zone Fire Update
September 29, 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): 938,044acres
Containment: 43% Personnel (North Zone): 1,292
Shasta-Trinity, Six Rivers, and Mendocino National Forests will host a virtual community meeting this evening at 7:30pm via Facebook Live. The Incident Management Team and cooperating agencies will discuss the current fire status and projected plans.
(Redding, CA) – A preliminary estimate shows structures and powerline infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed by the powerful wind-driven fire in the past few days. Trinity County Office of Emergency Services has not yet been able to begin damage assessments. They will enter the area as soon as it is safe to do so and directly notify owners; your patience is appreciated. Hot spots, falling trees, impassable roads, and many other hazards are present. Roadblocks remain in place for firefighter and public safety as well as property protection. Please comply with the Sheriff’s orders. Failure to evacuate diverts firefighters from protecting homes to assisting residents who should have evacuated. Crews continue working in Ruth, Post Mountain, and Forest Glen defending structures and conducting structure triage.
Smoke is expected to move back into the area over the next several days with a strong low-pressure system building over northern California. Lighter winds and shade from the smoke is anticipated to moderate fire behavior, but fire danger is still extreme. Dry fuels and winds can carry fire quickly. The winds are expected to shift to a flow from the north to northwest today, which will push the fire generally toward the southeast. However, the terrain can also funnel winds, shifting wind direction.
The fire continued to burn actively through the night with flanking, backing down slopes, and isolated tree torching. Firefighters patrolled and monitored structures on the west side of the fire last night and those efforts continue today. Crews conducted overnight strategic burning operations near Hettenshaw on the west side of the fire and near the junction of Forest Roads 30 and 35 on the east side. Firefighters continue to hold and improve containment lines on the northeastern flank prior to the shift in wind direction.
Additional air resources are being assigned to the fire. Air operations support firefighters on the ground as conditions permit. Please respect the Temporary Flight Restriction; keep drones away from the fire and firefighting operations. If you fly, we can’t. Don’t be the reason a firefighting air mission has to divert!
· Ruth and Ruth Lake
· Forest Glen
· Post Mountain/Trinity Pines
· Three Forks
· Hettenshaw Valley
· Lower Mad River Road
· Mad River
· Zenia area
· Areas east of Alderpoint Road to the Trinity County border and south of Showers Pass Road to Mountain Creek
Residents are urged to evacuate from the fire area. Evacuation information for Trinity and Humboldt counties is available from the Red Cross at 530-276-8034. Evacuation information is available online from the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services Facebook page.
All roads on the east side of Ruth Lake and Ruth area roads are closed. All roads in Van Duzen, Mad River, Ruth, Hettenshaw and Zenia areas are closed. The closure for State Route 36 extends from the Humboldt County line on the west to the junction with Bowman Road on the east. All roads within the Trinity Pines/Post Mountain Subdivision remain closed, including Trinity Pines Drive, Rattlesnake Road, Post Mountain Road and all county and private roads within the subdivision.
Trinity County Office of Emergency Services will conduct structure damage assessments when it is safe to do so. They may be contacted at: 530-623-8223.
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. Specific information is available online:
· Shasta-Trinity National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/stnf/forestorders
· Mendocino National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mendocino/alerts-notices
· Six Rivers National Forest: 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. Many hunting areas are closed due to wildfire activity; for more information visit: 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