Mendocino National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
825 N. Humboldt Ave.
Willows, CA 95988
August Complex North Zone Fire Update
October 1, 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): 955,513 acres
Containment: 51% Personnel (North Zone): 1,686
(Redding, CA) – Firefighting and public safety operations are being challenged by the public remaining in areas under evacuation orders. Evacuation orders are in place for Forest Glen, Hettenshaw Valley, Island Mountain, Kettenpom, Ruth and Ruth Lake, Mad River, Post Mountain/Trinity Pines, Three Forks, Zenia, and all areas south of State Route 36 to the Trinity County line. California Standard Statewide Evacuation Terminology defines an evacuation order as a lawful order to leave the area now due to an immediate threat to life. The area is lawfully closed to public access. Failure to evacuate diverts firefighters and public safety officers from protecting homes to assisting residents who should have evacuated.
An evacuation warning indicates there is a potential threat to life or property. Residents should be prepared to leave quickly if conditions deteriorate. Those with pets, livestock, or other situations that require additional time to evacuate should leave as soon as possible when the warning is issued. The Trinity County Sheriff issued a new evacuation warning for the Wildwood area on Wednesday, including Peanut and the area south of State Route 299. Evacuation warnings have also been issued for the Bear Wallow and Friend Mountain area, including Rowdy Bear. The Humboldt County Sheriff issued an evacuation warning for areas east of Alderpoint Road to the Trinity County border and south of Showers Pass Road to Mountain Creek. Roadblocks remain in place for firefighter and public safety as well as property protection.
Many of the firefighters and support staff working on the August Complex are from the local area. They have evacuated their own homes in Ruth and Mad River. Firefighters live in Stonyford, Redding, and other nearby communities. This fire is personal; crews are working hard to support their family, friends, and neighbors. The Mendocino Hotshots are slogging up steep slopes in the 100 degree heat to access areas that dozers and other equipment cannot reach. Crews are scheduled to work in shifts throughout the night, holding containment lines. While Mother Nature continues to hurl challenges of high winds, drought, and unseasonably hot temperatures, the firefighters are doing their best to provide for firefighter and public safety, assess and minimize risks, and implement sound tactical operations.
Hot and dry conditions will persist today, with temperatures again exceeding 100 degrees at lower elevations. Winds from the northwest are forecast for this morning, shifting to west winds in the afternoon. Dense smoke has settled over much of the fire, providing shade and moderating fire behavior. However, the smoke also limits aircraft operations. Crews are increasing the width of existing containment lines on the east side of the fire and pushing forward constructing new lines on the north and west flanks. They are assessing structure protection needs in Hyampom and other communities to the north. There is still much work ahead, as the fire continues to grow to the north and west.
· Ruth and Ruth Lake
· Forest Glen
· Post Mountain/Trinity Pines
· Three Forks
· Hettenshaw Valley
· Mad River
· Zenia and Kettenpom
· Island Mountain
· All areas south of State Route 36 to the Trinity County line
· Wildwood area, including Peanut and the area south of State Route 299
· 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
· 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