Mendocino National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
825 N. Humboldt Ave.
Willows, CA 95988
August Complex Fire Update October 4, 2020
Northeast Zone Incident Commander: Norm McDonald
Northwest Zone Incident Commander: Rob Allen
Start Date: 08/17/2020
Location: Shasta-Trinity NF; Six Rivers NF; Mendocino NF
Fire Size (All Zones): 987,654
Personnel (North Zone): 1,717
(Redding, CA) – Today the August Complex North Zone began operations as two separate geographic areas. The dividing line between the Northeast Zone and the Northwest Zone is along South Fork Mountain through Pickett Peak to State Route 36, crossing SR 36 between mile post 55 and 56, continuing north following the South Fork Trinity River. Two zones will provide more supervisory personnel, increased oversight and improve the effectiveness of fire resources. Crews who have been working in the Ruth Valley will be the same to preserve that continuity.
Northeast Zone – Yesterday, northwest surface winds allowed smoke to clear over the western lake portion of the fire. As the smoke “lid” was lifted, coupled with high temperatures and low humidity, fire activity increased along the perimeter north of SR 36. As those northwest winds interacted with the terrain over the east fire perimeter, southwest terrain driven winds carried spot fires over Forest Road 35 to the east towards Round Mountain and the area where Shasta, Tehama and Trinity Counties intersect.
Fire crews will be assessing and providing structure protection in Wildwood and Platina. Those communities remain under an Evacuation Warning and should be prepared to leave immediately if an Evacuation Order is issued. Firefighters will look for opportunities to safely engage the fire above FR 35.
Crews will continue constructing dozer lines above SR 36 north of Forest Glen and on both sides of the South Fork Trinity River. Multiple contingency lines utilizing forest roads and old fuel breaks northwest of Post Mountain to South Fork Trinity River are being improved. On the east fire perimeter, crews will hold and improve all existing control lines to keep the fire from spreading further beyond of SR 36.
Northwest Zone - Personnel were reallocated from the South Zone to areas near Ruth Lake and the northwest area of the fire. Below South Fork Mountain, the fire has been slowly backing down towards containment lines to the northwest. Where crews cannot directly fight the fire due to terrain or safety concerns, they are using indirect techniques such as anchoring to road systems and using dozer lines for containment well ahead of where the fire is currently burning. Near Zenia the fire crossed existing dozer lines, but progress is being made to contain the fire’s growth with hose lays and crews.
Residents are not permitted entry into evacuated areas until the Sheriff lifts the orders. Public safety officers continue to enforce roadblocks for firefighter and public safety as well as property protection.
Smoke will again have an influence on today’s weather. Temperatures will remain 10 to 15 degrees above normal and relative humidity values will fall into the teens over the mid-slopes and ridges. Winds will not be as strong as yesterday and there will likely be variability with the terrain driven winds.
Fire Information/Media Line: (530) 628-0039
· Ruth and Ruth Lake
· Forest Glen
· Post Mountain/Trinity Pines
· Three Forks
· Hettenshaw Valley
· Mad River
· Zenia and Kettenpom
· Island Mountain
· The area of Kettenpom south to Kekawaka Creek
· Bear Wallow and Friend Mountain, including Rowdy Bear
· Indian Valley and Hidden Valley
· All areas south of State Route 36 to the Trinity County line
· Wildwood 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. Failure to evacuate diverts firefighters from protecting homes to assisting residents who should have evacuated. Information for evacuees in Trinity and Humboldt counties is available from the Red Cross at 530-276-8034. Sign up for Trinity County Evacuation notifications and other emergency alerts at www.trinitycounty.org/oes/codered
· State Route (SR) 3 at Rattlesnake Road
· Rattlesnake Road at SR 36
· Post Mountain at SR 36
· SR 36 from Humboldt County Line to Bowman Road
· 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