The official MODIS perimeter of the Mill Creek 1 fire hasn’t been updated in a while, but it’s edged down toward the highway.
Highway 96 between Hoopa and Weitchpec is still closed Monday morning due to the Mill Creek 1 fire (though there is a workaround), and it looks to remain so for a while. The Caltrans Incident page currently forecasts the closure to remain in effect until at least this evening, but the California Highway Patrol is more pessimistic, according to the agency’s computer-assisted dispatch system — they hear, from on the ground, that the closure could persist for a “few more days.”
The Hoopa Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services reports, via their Facebook page, that the cause of the fire has been determined to be arson. It’s grown to some 1,500 acres at last report, and an incident management team has taken over command of the fire.
Here’s the state of play:
Great Basin Team 6 assumed command of the Mill Creek 1 Fire today, August 20, 2018 at 6:00 a.m., led by Incident Commander Brook Chadwick. The Incident Management Team is comprised of individuals from several agencies working within the Great Basin (Idaho, Nevada, Utah & Wyoming). This is a full-suppression fire and the objective is 100% containment. The top priority for the Incident Management Team is the safety of fire personnel and the public. The Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Hoopa Fire Department, Hoopa, California.
Our objective is to keep the fire East of Highway 96, west of the Reservation boundary, north of Mill Creek and south of Deerhorn Creek. Resources are being ordered to assist with the suppression of the fire. Currently we are in a National Preparedness Level 5, mobilization of fire resources is heavily committed to numerous large fires throughout the country.
California State Highway 96 is closed from Bull Creek to Mill Creek due to fire behavior. Traffic is being redirected through Dowd Road. This is for the safety of the public as well as for crews and aerial resources working on the fire. As soon as it is safe for public travel the highway will be reopened.
BACKGROUND: The Mill Creek 1 Fire started on August 16, 2018 on Tribal lands near the town of Hoopa, California. The cause of the fire is ARSON. There is a $10,000 reward offered for information regarding the fire. Calls will be taken on an anonymous hotline by calling 1-800-468-4402.
The North Coast Regional Air Quality Control Board is calling the air in Hoopa, Weitchpec and Orleans “unhealthy.” There are two clean-air facilities available in Hoopa for those suffering from the smoke — the Hoopa Neighborhood Facility (11860 Highway 96) will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Senior Nutrition Center (768 Loop Road) will be open for seniors during the same hours.