Friday, August 21, 2015

Fire update Friday, August 21 Featured

Written by  Simon Frech

The Horse Incident burning about 6 miles north-east of Shelter Cove in the BLM King Range National Conservation Area, was estimated to be burning 250 acres earlier this week, but after a fly-over on Thursday, better mapping downgraded the acreage to 150 acres burning between Buck Creek and Gitchell Creek.   

The fire ignited Tuesday and 3 days later, this Friday the new Calfire Incident Management Team 5 is taking over, that means personnel are getting mandated breaks and information is being exchanged and updated, so there are a few discrepancies that will be ironed out this Friday.  For example, the Calfire website still says the fire is burning 250 acres, they haven’t updated it yet this morning.

During the 7 am Calfire briefing, firefighters were told to keep the fire North of Rancho Lane and Kahluna Cliff; West of the South Fork of Bear Creek; East of Miller Ridge and of course NE of the Pacific Ocean. Firemap

The Horse Incident is divided into 4 divisions.  Looking at the King Range Map, defining the fire operations from west in a circle around the fire…

-Division A is in the upper headwaters of Buck Creek. 

-Division K, kilo, is in the north, upper end of Gitchell Creek drainage.

There is a Drop Point at the northern tip of the fire where Division A & K meet near Saddle Mountain Road around 3200 feet. 

-Division P is the southern tip of the fire, including the lower section of Buck Creek Trail where it hits 1800 feet.  There is a helicopter “helispot” H-2 just south of Divison P.  Calfire also moved a “clump pump” to H-2 capable of moving 2,000 gallons of water. 

-Division D is miles north of the fire zone.  Bulldozers are working in Division D on a northern contingency line along Saddle Mountain Road, they have already constructed dozer line near Fire Hill.    

Meanwhile, if needed, the southern contingency line will be constructed using King Peak Road, tying into Horse Mountain down to the Pacific Ocean just south of Gitchell Creek.

Fire Map Horse IncidentThe Calfire Night Operations Chief said firefighters got a hoselay all the way around on Division K, the east side of the fire.  They got a hoselay on Division P, the south edge on the bottom to Buck’s Creek Trail.  And on the west side of the fire, they started at the top with direct line at Drop Point 1 near Saddle Mountain Road, the line goes to the division break between A and P on the southern edge of the fire.   

Fire Behavior Analyst Scott Jones said re-growth from the Saddle burn means firefighters should expect flame lengths of 12 feet.  The relative humidity is forecast at 40% so timber is actively burning.  

Calfire Humboldt-Del Norte Division Chief Hugh Scanlon said the 2nd shift did a great job.  But he told firefighters who might are not from the area that locals will remember the 1988 Saddle Fire that burned 5,700 acres and almost burned Shelter Cove.  The seriousness of getting the job done was underlined. 

There will be a Calfire structure defense group assigned to the town of Shelter Cove starting today.    


Moving east to the Mad River Complex, specifically the Lassic Fire burning about 2 miles east of the Humboldt Complex Pine Fire.  Southern Humboldt residents saw the Lassic Fire burn hot and emit a huge cloud of smoke Thursday night.   The smoke and visible flames prompted residents to call in what they thought were new fires at 10 pm.  Firefighters responded, got to ridgelines, and determined that the Lassic Fire was creating a huge fire show.  Calfire Command got word that firing operations were ongoing near Goat Rock in the Lassic Fire zone at 10:30 pm.  So NO new fire, but the Lassic Fire did visibility grow. 

Overview Horse Incident FireUSFS says they flew an infrared flight Thursday night at 9 pm, the fire is now burning 11,976 acres, it grew 1100 acres on Thursday.   

According to the USFS, “Expected growth occurred on the fire yesterday as crews worked to establish contingency lines and limit the fire’s spread to the east and southeast. Dozer line is in place on the western side to keep the fire from spreading to the west. Structure protection is in place in the Rutledge Area.”

Road Closures

-Highway 36 at the South Fork Mountain Summit (mile post 9.29) east to Lower Rattlesnake Road (mile marker 22).

-Forest Route 1, 5 miles north of Highway 36 at Forest Service Road 2N12. Forest Service Road 4N18. And the end of Kerlin Road in the Hyampom community.

-Forest Service Roads 1S07, 1S08, 1S11, 2S08 and 1S23 from Van Duzen Road.


 -Mandatory evacuations are now in effect east of the Lassic Fire due to fire activity. The area includes the 8 residences along the 1S14 Rd. south of the 1S07 Rd., west of Van Duzen Rd. Residents in the Forest Glen area remain under a mandatory evacuation order.

-Mandatory evacuation at the end of Kerlin Creek Road. Voluntary evacuations include the St Johns Road, Wintoon Flat, Waldorf Flat, Grel Ranch and Oak Flat.

-Advisory Evacuation: Residents in the Swayback Ridge area remain under an evacuation advisory.


Over 12,000 firefighters are battling 15 active wildfires across California. The southern edge of a weak trough will be Northern California today, and then the high pressure ridge will return for the weekend. There won't be a lot of difference in the overall weather through the weekend with fairly light winds most areas. A trough over the Pacific Northwest will continue to bring westerly winds to Southern California of 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph to the desert passes through this evening. While temperatures will be cooler statewide, very warm and dry conditions will maintain an elevated threat for large fire across the foothills and mountains.

Fires of Interest:

 **CAL FIRE Incidents**

Tesla Fire, Alameda County  (more info…)

Tesla Road, near the community of Livermore

*2,500 acres – 60% contained

*Evacuations still in effect

Horse Fire, Humboldt County (more info…)

Saddle Mountain Road, Northeast of Shelter Cove

*250 acres – 12% contained

Jerusalem Fire, Lake & Napa Counties (more info…)

Jerusalem Grade Road northeast of Middleton

*25,118 acres – 97% contained



**Local Incidents**

Flat Fire, Kern County (more info…) NEW

Southeast of Woody

*166 acres – 40% contained

*CAL FIRE resources assigned



**Unified Command Incidents**

Cuesta Fire, San Luis Obispo County (more info…)

CAL FIRE / US Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest

Cuesta Grade, north of San Luis Obispo

*3,500 acres – 35% contained


Fork Complex, Trinity County (more info…)

US Forest Service – Shasta-Trinity National Forest / CAL FIRE

Near the Hayfork area

*36,473 acres – 68% contained (40 fires)

**Federal Incidents**

Prairie Fire, Siskiyou County (more info…) NEW

US Forest Service – Klamath National Forest

northeast of the community of Tennant

*100 acres

Cabin Fire, Los Angeles County (more info…)

US Forest Service – Angeles National Forest

Off Hwy 39, 6 miles north of Glendora

*1,723 acres – 98% contained

Walker Fire, Mono County (more info…)

US Forest Service – Inyo National Forest

North of Walker Lake

*3,678 acres – 50% contained


River Complex, Trinity County (more info…)

US Forest Service – Shasta-Trinity National Forest

New River Drainage, near Denny

*50,424 acres – 22% contained (3 active fires)

South Complex, Trinity County (more info…)

US Forest Service – Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Near Hyampom, south of Hwy 299

*23,565 acres – 50% contained (6 active fires)

Route Complex, Humboldt & Trinity Counties (more info…)

US Forest Service – Six Rivers National Forest

West of Hyampom

*34,543 acres – 37% contained

Mad River Complex, Trinity County (more info…)

US Forest Service – Six Rivers National Forest

Near Ruth Lake

*31,190 acres – 65% contained

Nickowitz Fire, Del Norte County (more info…)

U.S. Forest Service – Six Rivers National Forest

*4,818 acres – 53% contained

Gasquet Complex, Del Norte County (more info…)

U.S. Forest Service – Six Rivers National Forest

on the Gasquet Ranger District

*12,180 acres – 17% containment (6 fires remain active)

Cabin Fire, Tulare County (more info…)

US Forest Service - Sequoia National Forest

8 miles northeast of Camp Nelson

*6,940 acres – 96% contained

Rough Fire, Fresno County (more info…)

US Forest Service - Sierra National Forest

2 miles north of the Kings Wild and Scenic River

*39,400 acres – 3% contained

Thanks for listening to KMUD for fire updates at 9 am, 11 am and 3 pm.

updated 9 am Friday, August 21, 2015

Read 8896 times Last modified on Sunday, August 23, 2015
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