Northern California Fire Update: 8-9-08 Eagle And Buckhorn Still Blazing

This has not been a good week for Northern California. Nine are dead, four seriously injured and two fires are threatening Big Bar once again. The Eagle Fire, the first to claim a life,  jumped it’s containment and burned 1500 acres toward Big Bar. The Buckhorn Fire is responsible for nine deaths Tuesday and  is only 21% contained.

JUNCTION CITY — The once-contained Eagle Fire, as well as the 21,040-acre Buckhorn Fire, continued to creep closer Friday toward the tiny community of Big Bar in Trinity County.

“The (Eagle) Fire was pretty darn active today,” said U.S. Forest Service fire information officer Les Russell, who also said that a large column of smoke, as well as flames, could be seen from the ranger station in Big Bar. “It is pretty impressive.”

The 26,332-acre Eagle Fire had been declared contained Monday, but it escaped its western containment line on Wednesday and had burned more than 1,500 additional acres by Friday evening. The fire made a run and crossed Price Creek on its western flank south of Big Bar.

“It’s cooking pretty good,” Russell said, noting that a community meeting was held Friday night in Big Bar to discuss the status of the fires. “I expect there will be a lot of anxious people there.”

The Buckhorn Fire, which is north of Big Bar, was also slowly moving down drainages toward the community as firefighters build fire lines and conduct back burns to slow it.

The Eagle Fire was 88 percent contained Friday, while the Buckhorn Fire, near where nine firefighters died in a Tuesday evening helicopter crash, was 21 percent contained.

The fires are within what’s known as the Iron and Alps complexes, which are about 70 percent contained overall after consuming about 91,210 acres.

Meanwhile, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighters were wrapping up their work Friday on more than 20 fires that were ignited earlier in the week in eastern Shasta County by a lightning storm.

Twenty-six fires, none of which was bigger than 2 acres, began Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

“There were numerous fires, but nothing substantial,” said Cal Fire spokesman Justin Smith.

Here is a roundup of fires still burning in the north state:

Iron and Alps complexes: Other fires include the Carey Fire, which was 2,654 acres and 34 percent contained.

Lime Complex: The Lime Complex near Hayfork remained at 63,263 acres with 95 percent containment Friday evening.

A spot fire was sending up smoke Friday from the south end of the 23,763-acre Lime Fire near the containment line, Forest Service information officer Joe Fields said. More information should be available this morning about the fire, which was burning in a steep area. The Lime Fire was listed as 85 percent contained earlier Friday. The Miners Fire was listed at 24,368 acres and was 95 percent contained.

Yolla Bolly Complex: This series of fires, burning in rough terrain about 20 miles west of Paskenta, had burned 83,806 acres and was 90 percent contained Friday. About 30,000 of those acres have burned in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Forest Service officials said. The Grouse Fire was at 4,040 acres with 40 percent containment; the Yellow Fire was 29,970 acres and was 80 percent contained; and the Vinegar Fire was at 44,562 acres and was 75 percent contained. Full containment is expected Friday.

Siskiyou Complex: Fires southwest of Happy Camp had scorched 59,820 acres and were 64 percent contained on Friday.

Bear Wallow Complex: Two fires in the Marble Mountain and Trinity Alps wildernesses near Etna had burned 13,994 acres and were 51 percent contained on Friday. The Caribou Fire had scorched 12,330 acres and was 68 percent contained, while the Anthony Milne Fire was at 1,659 acres and zero percent contained. A community meeting on the fires is planned for 4:30 p.m. Sunday in Cecilville at the Cecilville Community Hall.

Blue 2 Complex: These fires burning west of the Siskiyou Complex, 13 miles east of Klamath, had burned 8,510 acres and were 64 percent contained on Friday.

Ukonom Complex: Burning five miles north of Somes Bar, these fires had blackened 48,012 acres and were 80 percent contained on Friday.

Panther Fire: This fire 15 miles south of Happy Camp had burned 12,659 acres and was 14 percent contained on Friday.

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2 Responses

  1. Dang, I thought those things were out. Sorry to hear about the firefighters.

  2. It’s been said they won’t be out ’til the snow flies, only controlled. Although control comes after containment, and most are not even contained.

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