Northern California Fire Update 6-27-08

Smoke

Motion Fire Thurs Sunset

Hot north winds shoved wildfire smoke out of the far northern Sacramento Valley on Thursday, allowing air tankers to fight some of the 250 blazes chewing through more than 40,000 acres of north state timber and brush.

But the winds that banished the ashen overcast for a day also incited flames that had been relatively docile under the thick smoke pall.

The Motion Fire west of Shasta Dam belched a thick orange-gray plume into the skies over Shasta Lake and Redding on Thursday afternoon as it ate up flammable brush. Officials put its size at 5,000 acres Thursday night with 10 percent containment. Dozers were building fire lines on the south and west sides of the fire.

The Motion Fire is one of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s biggest concerns, spokesman Mike Witesman said. Firefighters want to keep flames away from the dam and transmission lines that send power down south.

“We’re trying to keep it on the west side of the river and away from the facilities at the dam,” Witesman said.Earlier Thursday afternoon, mandatory evacuations were in effect for the historic Coram Ranch west of Shasta Dam because of the Motion Fire.

The burgeoning Noble Fire forced 300 evacuations in Platina early Thursday and destroyed a home in northwestern Tehama County. The Democrat Fire pushed out six Iron Mountain Road households on Thursday afternoon. The Telephone Fire prompted authorities to ask for voluntary evacuations in the town of Wildwood, where the St. Xenia Skete convent sits.

Authorities closed Highway 36 from 31 miles west of Red Bluff to Highway 3 in Trinity County as fires encroached on the road. Highway 299 was closed from eight miles west of Weaverville to 23 miles east.

Cal Fire has spent $3 million fighting the Shasta County fires so far, spokesman Roy Del Carlo said. That agency had mustered 1,055 firefighters Thursday, compared with 836 as of Wednesday morning and fewer than 600 on Tuesday.

The U.S. Forest Service has spent more than $4 million on the fires that have burned 23,227 acres in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday proclaimed a state of emergency in Shasta and Mendocino counties, opening the door for state emergency funding and possible federal aid.

Here is a list of the fires burning Thursday around the north state. Spokespersons from Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service, the Southern Area Incident Management Team, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and the National Park Service provided this information:

Venture Fire:

This blaze held at 1,500 acres and was 100 percent contained. No structures burned and no injuries were reported.

Withrow Fire:

This fire north of Shingletown was held to 600 acres near Withrow and One Hundred roads. The fire was at 80 percent containment.

Kirkman Fire:

This fire off Highway 44 near Dersch Road was holding at 2,500 acres and remained 80 percent contained. No structures were lost.

Deck Fire:

This fire sparked up on Thursday and was burning 200 acres of grass and brush between Igo and Ono by afternoon with no containment.

Graves Fire:

This fire burned along Platina Road some 12 miles from Ono. Acreage was unknown as of Thursday afternoon.

Donkey Mine:

Firefighters held this blaze south of Highway 299 and west of Oak Run Road to 600 acres and 90 percent containment. No structures were lost.

Democrat Fire:

Winds whipping this fire burning near the town of Keswick pushed it to 400 acres.

Pine Fire:

This fire, formerly called the Backbone Ridge Fire, grew to 3,000 acres and containment had been expected Thursday night. No structures have been lost. There were no precautionary evacuations in place Thursday.

Stein Fire:

This fire, located north of the Pine Fire, was at 1,100 acres and 10 percent contained.

Zogg Mine:

This fire in the Igo-Ono area was 80 percent contained at 74 acres. No structures have been lost. However, several spot fires continue burning nearby on steep mountainsides.

Motion Fire:

Located west of Shasta Dam, it was 5,000 acres Thursday night with 10 percent containment.

Moon Fire:

This blaze had consumed 2,000 acres near Paradise Peak southwest of Redding, with no containment.

Barley Fire:

This fire in southwest Shasta County held at 1,000 acres in the Graves Ranch area and was 5 percent contained.

Little Fire:

This Shasta County fire east of Oak Run was burning 50 acres of commercial timberland and was 60 percent contained.

Brown Fire:

Located in Trinity County, it has burned 200 acres and was threatening 15 structures.

Whiskeytown Complex:

Four wildfires on Shasta Bally have charred 3,000 acres and threatened power lines that feed communication towers atop the mountain, including those for emergency agencies in Shasta County.

The fires hadn’t burned any power poles or caused any outages Thursday, although officials had de-energized the 12-kilovolt lines about 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Depending on which way the fires move, flames could threaten the Crystal Creek Conservation Camp, Carr Power House, Camden House and cabins used for employee housing.

Firefighters in the 111-member crew battling the blazes dug fire lines, set back fires and protected buildings for flames that could pass through.

Go to www.nps.gov/whis for updated information on the Whiskeytown fires.

Peterson Complex:

The Popcorn and Peterson fires southwest of McArthur in eastern Shasta County merged into a single 7,462-acre blaze called the Peterson Complex. The fire was still 40 percent contained on Thursday, the Southern Area Incident Management Team reported.

Authorities have not ordered evacuations of 160 residents in Little Valley in Lassen County, though a voluntary evacuation is in place.

Lime Complex:

The Lime Complex in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest had consumed 19,000 acres and was 15 percent contained Thursday. The growing Noble Fire forced the evacuation of Platina in far southwestern Shasta County and threatened the R-Ranch resort in northwestern Tehama County. The Telephone Fire in eastern Trinity County has closed Highway 36 west from Wildwood Road to Highway 3 and prompted authorities to warn Wildwood residents of possible evacuations. On the positive side, crews restored power to homes north of Hyampom, completed a fire line around the Oak Fire and contained the Fisher Fire. Costs of fighting the Lime Complex were pegged at $2.9 million. The Lime Complex command post sits in Hayfork.

Iron Complex:

This group of 36 fires in northeastern Trinity County more than tripled in size, growing to 12,500 acres on Thursday and was at 5 percent containment. The Eagle Fire has forced evacuations in Coopers Bar, Helena and Canyon Creek. Slattery Pond and Red Hill Road residents have been asked to prepare for possible evacuation. A 30-mile stretch of Highway 299 east and west of Weaverville has been closed, along with Canyon Creek Trail into the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Firefighters are coordinating their efforts from a command post in Junction City.

SHF June Lightning Complex:

Crews have contained 27 of the 29 fires in the group. The Murphy and Rey fires are still going.

Siskiyou Complex:

Fires have burned some 4,000 acres in rugged terrain in far western Siskiyou County. Authorities again closed Highway 96 to motorists where Dillon Creek flows into the Klamath River some 30 miles south of Happy Camp, where crews were building a fire break.

Tehama County:

North winds whipped up flames, allowing a pair of large wildfires in the Ishi Wilderness Area to reach a combined total of 15,000 acres.

The Noble Fire burned a modular home and a shed in northwestern Tehama County. The blaze has prompted officials to evacuate the R-Ranch resort and a half-dozen cabins along Ball Road near the Shasta-Trinity National Forest boundary.

Cal Fire crews were protecting these and other buildings.

Flames from the Noble Fire and the Telephone Fire in the Lime Complex have closed Highway 36 from a point 31 miles west of Red Bluff to Highway 3 in eastern Trinity County.

The Antelope Creek Fire in the Ishi Wilderness has charred 3,000 acres and was 35 percent contained. The Mill Creek Fire has blackened 11,360 acres and was 30 percent contained.

!ADDED UPDATE!

Fires have consumed an estimated 31,531 acres in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, according to the most recent U.S. Forest Service report.

The Lime Complex in far southwestern Shasta County and eastern Trinity County has nearly doubled in size over the last 24 hours, the Forest Service reports, although containment is up to 15 percent. Evacuations are still in effect for Platina and Wildwood.

Crews have held the Iron Complex in the Trinity Alps on its eastern and southern flanks, although evacuations are still in effect for residents of Helena and Canyon Creek near Junction City. Residents of Slattery Pond, the Coopers Bar subdivision and Red Hill Road have been asked to prepare for possible evacuation.

Here are the morning stats for the fires burning in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest:

Lime Complex: 19,000 acres, 15 percent containment

Some 803 firefighters are battling this complex of 70 fires, some as large as 4,000 acres, west of Hayfork and south of Hyampom. The Noble and Telephone fires have forced closures of Highway 36 from 15 miles east of Platina to Highway 3. Hyampom may be threatened should the fires keep spreading. Costs of fighting the Lime Complex are now pegged at $3.4 million. The Lime Complex command post sits in Hayfork.

Iron Complex: 12,500 acres, 5 percent containment

The 578 firefighters battling this group of 36 blazes in northeastern Trinity County kept them from spreading much over the last 24 hours after the fires nearly tripled in size Wednesday. Crews are trying to keep the Ziegler Fire out of Hawkins Bar. The Forest Service will coordinate a community meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. today at the Hawkins Bar Grange behind Simon LaGree’s. Firefighters are coordinating their efforts from a command post in Junction City. Estimated firefighting costs so far on the Iron Complex are $1.5 million.

SHF June Lightning Complex:

Crews have contained 27 of the 29 fires in the group. The Murhpy and Rey fires are still going.

Warm, dry northeasterly winds developing today and continuing Friday could fan these fires, weather forecasters warned.

Latest Available Update: 6-28-08

Latest Available Update: 6-30-08

Latest Available Update: 7-01-08

Update 7-2-08

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4 Responses

  1. […] Northern California Fire Update 6-27-08 […]

  2. […] Comments Update: Fires In Nor… on Northern California Fire Updat…Robert D on Update: Fires In Northern…swampie on Update: Fires In Northern…swampie on […]

  3. Thanks for the updates! It is going to be a couple of days before I get to watch the news to see how the firefighting is going.

    I trust these things are still staying clear of your place?

  4. Yep, were good so far. Fingers and toes are crossed though.

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