U.S. Forest Service press release:
EUREKA, California, September 8, 2017– Current fires and fire complexes on the Six Rivers National Forest include the Orleans Complex and the Oak Fire (part of the Klamath National Forest’s Eclipse Complex). “For today, yesterday’s rain has helped moderate the fire behavior, crews are taking advantage of this to finish work. Community support for the firefighters continues to be high, providing a moral boost for the crews working hard to protect our local communities,” says Gasquet District Ranger David Palmer.
Orleans Complex—Six Rivers National Forest (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5430/): There will be a public meeting in Orleans on Saturday, September 9, at 3 p.m. at the Karuk DNR Building. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an update about the status of the fires in the Orleans Complex and to answer questions.
Evacuations: At noon today the mandatory evacuation order will be lifted, except for residents in the Patterson Ranch Road area. An advisory evacuation warning remains in effect for residents east of Highway 96 from Burns Creek south to Ti Creek, from Rogers Creek Road south to Somes Bar, and along the Salmon River Road to Wooley Creek. Residents can stay informed of changing conditions by calling the fire information number (530-572-1129) or by watching for updates at http://www.facebook.com/SixRiversNF or https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5430/
In late July and early August, a series of thunderstorms passed through northern California igniting many fires, including twenty that are being managed as the Orleans Complex. Three of these fires remain active: the Burney Fire at 1,631 acres, the Ukonom Fire at 4,234 acres, and the Haypress Fire at 20,356 acres. Incident objectives are focused on providing for firefighter and public safety, protecting private property and cultural resources, and minimizing impacts to aquatic species, spotted owl and bald eagle habitat. The complex is being managed using a combination of full suppression, containment and confinement strategies; this work is estimated to be about 53% complete. A wildfire is contained when a control line has been completed around the fire, which can reasonably be expected to stop the fire’s spread. Confinement means that a wildfire has been restricted to a defined area, primarily using natural barriers that are expected to halt the spread of the fire under the prevailing and forecasted weather conditions. Some suppression actions may be required to augment or connect natural barriers, including line construction, strategic firing, and/or bucket drops.
The Orleans Complex received about 1/3 inch of rain on Thursday. This precipitation slowed fire behavior significantly, which gave firefighters a chance to scout for opportunities to construct more direct fire lines. They are identifying locations where they can connect existing fire lines, old roads, and ridgelines to create firebreaks along the western edge of the Haypress Fire. Work continues around structures along Highway 96 from Somes Bar north to Burns Creek. No significant activity was reported on the Ukonom or Burney Fires.
Eclipse Complex—Oak Fire—Klamath and Six Rivers National Forests: (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5511/): Rain across the Oak Fire has significantly decreased fire behavior across the burn area. Crews will use favorable post-rain conditions to seek out options to go direct on remaining open lines to cut off the fire’s spread on the west flank near Blue Ridge and the South Fork of Smith River.
Closures—Orleans Complex: Two closure orders are in effect for national forest roads, trails, and lands in the vicinity of Orleans Complex fires. For the Haypress Fire, Closure Order No. 17-05-801 is in effect on the Ukonom Ranger District. For the Ukonom Fire, Closure Order No. 17-05-797 is in effect on the Ukonom and Happy Camp Ranger Districts.
Closures—Oak Fire: Closure Order No. 10-17-09 and Closure Order No. 10-17-07 closes national forest trails, roads, and lands around the Oak Fire. Both closure orders remain in effect until the fires are suppressed and declared out. All closure orders can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xRHYQ
Weather: A moist and unstable air mass will continue to bring the threat of scattered showers and thunderstorms to the area Friday. Any thunderstorms that develop may produce brief heavy rain, hail, lightning and gusty and erratic winds.
- Motorists traveling on State Highway 96 are reminded that there will be numerous firefighting vehicles on the roadway.
- State Road 299 is open for one way traffic. Be sure and check www.dot.ca.gov for current conditions.
- Temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) are in effect over the Orleans and Eclipse Complexes. For a complete list of TFRs, go to http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html.
- Fire-use restrictions are in effect on the Six Rivers National Forest (https://go.usa.gov/xRHYQ).
- Heavy smoke throughout the pacific west will continue to affect the region. For up-to-date air quality advisories, call 866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329) or go to www.ncuaqmd.org.
Prevention: Get prepared for wildfire before it strikes. Remember: “Ready, Set, Go!” http://www.readyforwildfire.org/.