Hank Sims / @ 1:29 p.m. / Fire

Willow Creek Air Quality Upgraded to Merely ‘Unhealthy,’ as Some River Complex Residents Allowed to Return Home


[For LoCO’s chronological list of fire updates, go here. For direct updates from fire management teams as they are released, watch the Outpost’s “Elsewhere” section.]

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River Complex snags and haze. Photo: InciWeb.

There are small bits of good news from the largest of the fire complexes still raging in the North Coast interior. Some residents displaced by the massive River Complex — 48,000 acres,  22 percent contained as of this morning — are being allowed to return to their homes in stages. If you or any of your friends and relations live in the 5-Waters, Hoboken, Noble, Daily Ranch, Quimby Creek or New River Trailhead areas of northwestern Trinity County, check that link for details.

Also: There will be a public meeting about the River Complex fires at the Willow Creek branch of Umpqua Bank tonight at 6 p.m.

If you are located in northeastern Humboldt, you are likely finding the air somewhat more breathable today. The North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District has reduced yesterday’s “hazardous air quality alert” for Willow Creek to a mere “unhealthy air quality advisory.” 

  • Today’s hazardous air quality communities: Denny, Hayfork, Hyampom. See full alert.
  • Today’s unhealthy air quality communities: Hoopa, Willow Creek, Weaverville, Big Bar, Junction City, Trinity Center, Lewiston, Trinity Pines, Wildwood, Mad River, Dinsmore, Burnt Ranch. See full advisory.

Remember: “Unhealthy,” while possibly somewhat better than what you have been used to, is still a long way from “healthy.” If you’re feeling really sick, get yourself to a doctor — or at least, somewhere with cleaner air ASAP. Also, keep in mind yesterday’s tips about creating a smoke-free “clean” room in your own home, courtesy of the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services.

Today and tomorrow, basically, look relatively breathable. Saturday not so much. From the air quality people:

[Thursday] and Friday are expected to have some minor relief from smoke, but Saturday will see a return to smoky conditions throughout much of the three  counties. Despite observable haze, current monitor results show particulate  matter concentrations in the Good to Moderate range in the greater Humboldt  Bay and Eureka areas, as well as Crescent City. Smoke will remain  entrenched in the Humboldt and Trinity River valleys.

Read their full fire/smoke overview, along with tips about when to seek medical attention, here.


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