Northern California Fire Update: 7-6-08

Motion fire

Burnouts planned near Shasta Dam to combat the 16,700-acre Motion Fire were put on hold Saturday while fire crews worked to secure the line from where they’ll start the blaze.

Mike Witesman, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said crews want to make sure a bulldozer-created fire line is cleaned out and secure before crews set the fire.

“(They want) to get more done with the line,” he said. “Their goal is to do (the burnout) as soon as they can.”Witesman is anticipating it happening either today or Monday. Pressure is building to begin the burnout as triple-digit temperature shave been forecast for much of the week, he said.

Burnouts are fires set at as ecure fire line — like a bul ldozertrench or a freeway —that burn up vegetation sitting in the path of a wildfire, robbing the blaze of fuel.

Crews built fire lines Friday in preparation for the burnout between ridge tops about a mile to a mile and a half northwest of the dam. They spent Saturday morning mostly on their own, clearing out debris and possible fuel to better secure the line, Witesman said.

“Air tanker availability was limited,” he said.

The DC-10 jet air tanker that area crews were hoping to bring in was dispatched to the wildfires burning near Big Sur on Saturday,he said.

The Martin Mars water bomber made drops again Saturday on the Motion Fire along with a C-130 air tanker, a Cal Fire spokesman said.

Meanwhile, a two-mile stretch of Highway 299 remained closed as of 8 p.m.Saturday from about four miles west to about two miles west of Del Loma in Trinity County due to a wildfire. The California Department of Transportation was advising motorists to use an alternate route. Highway 36 also continues to have periodic closures.

Wildfire activity also has closed all U.S. Forest Service roads and trails in the Hayfork and Yolla Bolly rangers districts.

Here’s a look at fire conditions as updated Saturday by Forest Service and CalFire officials.

Shasta-Trinity Lightning Complex:

The 158 fires in Shasta and Trinity counties under the responsibility of Cal Fire have burned 53,600 acres since June 21 and are 50 percent contained overall.

The Motion, Moon and Deerlick fires are the three active fires, but their acreages remained the same Saturday.The Motion Fire west of Shasta Dam was still at 16,700 acres and 50 percent contained. The Moon Fire,at 18,600 acres, was up to 45 percent containment. The Deerlick Fire remained at 16,800 acres but was up to 45 percent containment.

A total of 112 fires have been contained and 43 have merged. Six firefighters have been injured out of the 1,869 people assigned to the fires in the Shasta-Trinity complex. So far the state has spent $19.9 million in trying to put out the flames.

The Iron Complex:

This series of 16 fires in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest grew over Friday night by nearly 500 acres to 25,469 acres with 19 percent overall containment.

Six of fires in the complex are not contained while 10 of the fires were contained.The Buckhorn blaze, now included in the complex when it joined the Clem Fire, was up to 3,491 acres with 5 percent containment.

The Eagle Fire grew to7,531 acres and was 60 percent contained. The Cedar Fire grew to 1,165 acres with15 percent containment. The Ironside Fire went unchanged and continues to burn at 12,051 acres with 60percent containment. The Zeigler Fire remained at 822acres with 30 percent containment and was heading east. The 43-acre Denny Fire had zero containment.

The Lime Complex:

This series of 70 fires remained relatively unchanged Saturday morning,remaining at 41,362 acres and at 65 percent containment.The number of active fires was at 38 with 32 fires contained. Several fires within the complex have burned together.

The Rainbow Fire was contained at 236 acres and headway was made on the Trough Fire, at 334 acres and 90 percent containment.

The Dead shot Fire was fully contained at 1,055acres. The Lime Fire was at 8,536 acres and 51 percent containment. At 4,544 acres, the Miners Fire was 58 percent contained. The Noble Fire remained at 12,756 acres and 90 percent contained. The Slide Fire was reported at 1,547 acres and fully contained. The Telephone Fire was fully contained at 6,014 acres.

The Iron Fire was at 2,787acres and 41 percent contained.The Wilderness Fire had no containment at 860acres. The Deerlick Fire was at 15,500 acres, of which nearly 800 acres were inside the Lime Complex.

The Alps Complex:

This series of 11 fires grew about 80 acres Saturday to 785 acres but remained at 15percent containment. There were seven active fires and four contained fires.

The Granite Fire, at 441 acres and 50 percent containment,and the Carey Fire, at 200 acres and 5 percent contained, remain the priority blazes for firefighters. A group of eight smoke jumpers dropped into the Carey Fire on Friday to supplement hand crews that have hiked to the blaze.

The 97 fires in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest had burned 67,616 acres, of which there were 51 active fires and 46 fires that had been contained. The fires grew by 631 acres from Friday night to Saturday morning. So far the Forest Service’s fire-suppression cos was up to $19.5 million.

Eight firefighters have suffered injuries out of 2,100people fighting the fires.


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