Two Residences Destroyed as Orleans’ Fire Continues–Hwy 96 Open to One Way Traffic [UPDATED w/Press Release]

UPDATE 10:30 A.M.: Press Release on the Dance Fire:

The Dance Fire, which started along Highway 96 near Camp Creek Road, has caused the evacuation of some local residents in and near the town of Orleans, CA. Residents were evacuated to Junction Elementary School in Somes Bar and the Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources (DNR) building in Orleans.  The evacuations are complete.

The fire started at 5:15 p.m. on Monday and as of 3:00 a.m. today, has burned 350 acres with an estimated 10% containment.  Two residences and several outbuildings have been destroyed.  About 70 other structures are threatened; power lines and phone lines are down.  There is one-way controlled traffic on Highway 96 by Caltrans one mile south of Orleans. 

The fire is moving up Sims Gulch towards the G-O Road.  It is burning in rough, difficult terrain in timber type fuels.

Additional fire resources have been ordered, including a Type 2 Incident Management Team that will assume command of the fire on Tuesday afternoon. 

There will be a public meeting today at 6 p.m. at the Karuk DNR Building, 39051 Highway 96, Orleans.

Resources from the following agencies are on scene: Six Rivers and Klamath National Forests, Cal Fire, Hoopa Fire Department, Orleans Volunteer Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, County Sheriff’s Office, Forest Service law enforcement officers, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and Fortuna CCCs.

As of 3:00 a.m. there is a total of 326 persons assigned to the Dance Fire, including 10 hand crews, 1 helicopter, 21 engines and a water tender.

For more information check inciweb for updates. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Jean Hawthorne, a Public Information Officer for the Dance Fire burning near Orleans, reports that two residences and five outbuildings burnt overnight after a fire started around 5:15 p.m. yesterday evening.  As of 3 a.m., about 350 acres were consumed–mostly timber.  The north flank of the fire is moving towards Black Mountain. Hawthorne says the northernmost part of the fire is “adjacent to the GO or Gasquet /Orleans Rd.

The fire is 10% contained, which Hawthorne says is a positive sign — so much has been contained in a relatively short period.

A portion of the town has no power. There are two evacuation centers. The Karuk Department of Natural Resources Building, 39051 Hwy 96, Orleans, is the site of one evacuation center. The Junction School at Somes Bar is the site of the other.  

According to Caltrans, Hwy 96 has been opened back up to one way controlled traffic.

Hawthorne says that there are currently 325 people working on the fire, nine engines, one helicopter, one water tender and ten hand crews.  More resources are expected tonight.

Hawthorne wants to get out the word to all people in the Orleans area that there will be a public meeting tonight at 6 P.M. at the Karuk Dept. of Natural Resources Building, 39051 Hwy 96 Orleans. All residents are encouraged to attend.

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