Mendocino National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
825 N. Humboldt Ave.
Willows, CA 95988
August Complex North Zone Fire Update
September 30, 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): 949,055acres
Containment: 47% Personnel (North Zone): 1,451
(Redding, CA) – While the high winds have subsided, the fire danger remains extreme. Many hazards lurk throughout the August Complex North Zone. Smoke is settling into the region. Fire personnel working on the northern and western flanks have reported zero visibility due to dense smoke. Highly combustible vegetation, falling trees, downed powerlines, exploding fuel tanks, and many other dangerous conditions are present throughout the active fire perimeter, which continues to grow.
It is extremely important for residents to stay out of closed and evacuated areas, allowing firefighters to maintain focus on the fire and the numerous hazards in the area. Please prepare to evacuate during a warning and leave quickly when an evacuation order is issued. Failure to evacuate diverts firefighters from protecting homes to assisting residents who should have evacuated. The Trinity County Sheriff issued a new evacuation warning on Tuesday for Bear Wallow and Friend Mountain, including Rowdy Bear, as terrain-driven winds could move the fire further north into the South Fork Trinity River drainage.
A damage assessment team has been ordered to assist the Trinity County Office of Emergency Services. They understand homeowners are eager for information. Staff will enter affected areas as soon as it is safe to do so and directly notify owners; your patience is appreciated. Roadblocks remain in place for firefighter and public safety as well as property protection. Please comply with the Sheriff’s orders.
Fire behavior remains active, with tree torching and uphill runs. Green pockets of vegetation continue to ignite near Forest Glen and Ruth Lake, posing on-going threats to structures. Firefighters are still working hard in Ruth, Post Mountain, Forest Glen, Three Forks, Hoaglin, Zenia, Kettenpom, Hettenshaw, and other affected communities to reduce hazards, protect structures, and conduct structure triage.
Today crews are working to hold and improve the containment line on the east side of the fire. The fire is progressing north of State Route 36 on both sides of the South Fork Trinity River. Firefighters are ready to conduct strategic burning operations south and west of Post Mountain when conditions permit. Structure protection remains a high priority for firefighters. Dozers and hand crews are constructing containment lines around homes and properties at risk. Plans are in progress for protection around the Hyampom community.
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
· Mad River
· Zenia and Kettenpom
· Island Mountain
· Bear Wallow and Friend Mountain, including Rowdy Bear
· 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. Failure to evacuate diverts firefighters from protecting homes to assisting residents who should have evacuated. Evacuation information for Trinity and Humboldt counties is available from the Red Cross at 530-276-8034.
· State Route (SR) 3 at Rattlesnake Road
· Rattlesnake Road at SR 36
· Post Mountain at SR 36
· Post Mountain at SR 36
· SR 36 at Humboldt County line
· SR 36 at SR 3
· Zenia Bluffs Road at Humboldt County Line
· Zenia Lake Mountain Road at Peaks Road
· Kekawaka Creek Road to Mendocino County Line
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.
Each forest has closures in place. Individual forest closure 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