Northern California Fire Update: 6-30-08


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Water Bomber Lands on Lake Shasta

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The mandatory evacuation for the Platina area was lifted by fire officials Sunday evening and Highway 36 is reopened, a spokesman for the Shasta County Sheriff’s office said.

Firefighters across Shasta County, 47,000 acres of which were still burning Sunday night, appeared to have a productive day battling the flames. In all, 10 percent of the blazes were contained, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire said Sunday evening.

Over the weekend, President Bush issued an emergency declaration for California and ordered federal agencies to assist in firefighting efforts in Butte, Mendocino, Monterey, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta and Trinity counties.

The declaration Saturday followed by two days Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s letter seeking federal disaster aid for the seven counties.

The aid will provide more air and ground firefighting resources, shelter for people and animals displaced by the flames and debris removal.

There are now 2,223 firefighters in the battle against the lightning fires that swarmed into Shasta County a week ago.

Crews from California and other states swelled the ranks of the 267 California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighters who initially battled the blazes after the unprecedented June 21 storm, Cal Fire information officer Roy Del Carlo said early Sunday afternoon.

Deerlick Complex:

The Deerlick Complex of fires west of Ono is 15,000 acres and 5 percent contained Sunday evening.

The Democrat and Motion fires:

The Democrat and Motion fires, which have grown together near Keswick and Shasta dams are now at 15,000 acres and 10 percent contained, Del Carlo said.

He said firefighters lit backfires Saturday to divert the flames from the areas around power lines and the powerhouse at the dam.

Crews are especially looking out for the community of Keswick, he said.

“Those are high priorities,” he said.

Zogg Mine Fire:

This fire in the Igo-Ono area was still listed as 80 percent contained at 74 acres. No structures have been lost.

The Moon Fire Complex:

The Moon Fire, also near Ono, is now at 15,000 acres and had been at 20 percent containment early in the day Sunday. Containment dropped to 10 percent by the evening.

“Hard closures” are still in effect in the Buell and Platina road areas, but no structures have been lost.

The Pine and Donkey fires:

The Pine and Donkey blazes, which also have merged, are now at 1,230 acres and 95 percent containment.

Del Carlo said that there are now 236 engines fighting fires in Cal Fire territory in Shasta County. That’s in contrast to the 80 engines that were available when the fires started.

Other equipment now in place includes two air attack units, nine helicopters, 20 hand crews, 92 water tenders and 62 bulldozers, Del Carlo said.

Barley Fire:

This fire in southwest Shasta County held at 1,000 acres in the Graves Ranch area. It continued at 5 percent containment on Sunday.

Lower Grass Valley Fire:

The Upper Grass Valley Fire near Buckhorn Summit has merged with the Lower Grass Valley Fire, taking on its name. Firefighters gained the upper hand on the blaze Sunday, knocking it down to 375 acres with 95 percent containment.

Little Fire:

The fire burned 50 acres near Whitmore was contained Sunday.

The Stein Fire:

The Stein Fire near the Pit River arm of Lake Shasta is now 90 percent contained and has burned 667 acres.

The Iron Complex:

Evacuation orders have been lifted in the Helena and Canyon Creek areas, as have voluntary evacuation orders for residents of the Cooper’s Bar, Red Hill Road and Slattery Pond areas of northeastern Trinity County.

The Iron Complex of fires has grown to 13,450 acres and is 15 percent contained, a spokesman for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest said Sunday evening.

Ziegler Fire:

Fire line work also continues on the Ziegler Fire, which could threaten the community of Hawkins Bar. Periodic closures for fire debris clean-up are expected on Highway 299.

Trails are closed at the Canyon Creek Trailhead, which is in the Granite Fire area. Fire managers said they expect the Eagle Fire will continue to grow to the south and the Ironsides and Don Juan fires will grow east and north.

The Ziegler Fire is moving slowly southward and could also spread west, fire officials said.

Backfires are being lit on the north side of the fire to block a spread in that direction. The Cedar Fire will continue to spread east and north, fire managers said.

Alps Complex:

King’s Peak, a specialized 10-person crew, has been brought in to help protect two ranches threatened by the Alps complex of fires in the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

The Alps complex, 14 fires officials broke off from the Iron Complex on Saturday, is now estimated at 2,219 acres, said a spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service. Containment on the fire was unknown Sunday evening.

The Brooks and Allen ranches, threatened by the Buckhorn Fire, will be the focus of the special team’s attention, the spokesperson said.

The Buckhorn fires:

The Buckhorn fires are moving north and east toward the Clem fire and has reached a dozer line protecting the Brooks Ranch, the spokesperson said.

Trail cleaning and clearing will take place on the Granite Creek Fire in an effort to hold that blaze in Bear and Canyon creeks, the spokesperson said. That fire also is growing north and east.

Lime Complex:

Evacuations have been lifted for the Platina area and Highway 36 has been reopened, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service said Sunday evening.

The Lime Complex continues to blaze through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and has grown to 32,570 acres Sunday evening.

Two fires in the complex, the Deadshot and Slide fires, now are completely surrounded by fire lines and are considered 100 percent contained.

But the complex contains six other major fires as of Sunday evening was 23 percent contained. Crews trying to reach the Yolla-Bolly Wilderness are being blocked by heavy smoke that has limited visibility, said a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

A red flag warning of dry lightning is in effect through 5 a.m. Monday.

A community meeting to provide information about the fires will be held at Hayfork High School in Hayfork at 7 p.m. Monday.

SHF June Lightning Complex:

No new information was available on this complex. On Friday, crews had contained 27 of the 29 fires in the group. The Murphy and Rey fires were still going.

Whiskeytown Complex:

Four wildfires on Shasta Bally have charred nearly 4,000 acres and currently are about 16 percent to 17 percent contained, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman said Sunday evening.

“It’s been a pretty productive day,” he said.

Park officials cleared the Oak Bottom campground and beach to make room for a fire camp. The Oak Bottom public boat launch was opened Saturday and will stay open with Oak Bottom Marina and stores. Across the lake, Brandy Creek Beach and Marina and the Whiskey Creek Launch will remain open.

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

Siskiyou Complex:

These fires in far western Siskiyou County had grown to 7,725 acres by Sunday evening. Crews were making good progress getting a containment line around it, said Verne Farrell of the U.S. Forest Service.

Highway 96, where Dillon Creek flows into the Klamath River, 30 miles south of Happy Camp was reopened to escorted traffic at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Tehama County:

The Antelope Creek Fire was 95 percent contained at 3,400 acres. The Mill Fire had charred 16, 580 acres and was 90 percent contained.

The Noble Fire has been knocked down to 12,472 acres by Sunday evening. Firefighters had it 82 percent contained, said a spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service.

Peterson Complex:

The Popcorn and Peterson fires southwest of McArthur in eastern Shasta County merged have grown into a single 7,800-acre blaze. The fires were 60 percent contained on Saturday. Authorities lifted a cautionary-evacuation request of 160 residents in Little Valley in Lassen County.

Map of California Fires as of 6-30-08

Latest Available Update: 7-1-08 (with video)

Udate 7-2-08

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