After the meeting. Photos/video: Andrew Goff.

At a community meeting at the Willow Creek Bible Church this afternoon, the command team in charge of the Six Rivers Lightning Fires — currently more than 7,000 acres in size, and still uncontained — introduced itself to the Willow Creek area. 

About 75 locals were in attendance, looking for answers. The main thing they learned: Those fires are not going to be out anytime soon.

“This is going to be a long battle,” said Cal Fire unit chief Kurt McCray.

Cal Fire is moving massive resources into the area, commanders said, and will henceforth be co-managing the fires with the Six Rivers National Forest. But dry, hot conditions on the ground, mean that these fires are almost certainly going to be burning for some time.

Also on hand: Humboldt County Sheriff Billy Honsal and Emergency Services Manager Ryan Derby, there to talk about evacuation procedures and how to stay up to date. They urged everyone to keep checking the Zonehaven Aware website — link here — for the most up-to-date information about evacuation warnings and orders. They also urged everyone to sign up for the county’s emergency alert system, which can be done at this link.

Unspecified technical difficulties prevented the meeting from streaming live on the Six Rivers National Forest Facebook page as originally planned, but the media team has promised to post video of the meeting soon.

The Six Rivers Lightning Fire Complex fires were sparked on Friday morning, after lightning storms passed through the area in the middle of the night. Several of those strikes have since merged. Fires are burning north, east and south of Willow Creek.

The fire boundaries as of this morning.

Deanna Seil, Six Rivers National Forest, updates a fire information board in front of Ray’s Food Place in downtown Willow Creek

Smoke from fires above Seeley McIntosh Road seen here from Kimberly Drive

An evacuation zone checkpoint on Campbell Ridge Road in Salyer

CHP staffing a similar closure on Country Club Road in Willow Creek

The Trinity River shrouded in smoke just east of the Humboldt and Trinity counties line

Above and below: An evacuation center is available at Trinity Valley Elementary School

Above and Below: Camp Kimtu is being utilized as a staging ground and campsite for fire crews

Above and below: Humboldt and Trinity County residents pack an informational meeting at Willow Creek Bible Church