[UPDATED with Video] Saddle Fire Breaches Humboldt-Trinity Border, Smoke Spreads
Update June 14 9:24 P.M.: From the United States Forest Service:
The mandatory evacuation order for the #SaddleFire has been downgraded to an advisory evacuation this afternoon.
— Shasta-Trinity NF (@ShastaTrinityNF) June 15, 2015
Update June 14 5:54 P.M.: Video from InciWeb:
Update June 14 12:05 P.M.: According to InciWeb, the Saddle Fire has spread to 1,480 acres and is 20 percent contained. InciWeb says, cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected to have a slight impact on fire activity.
Originally: The Saddle Fire, a lightning fire that started in Trinity County on June 9 at about 5:30 p.m., has continued to expand to an estimated 1,331 acres, and it has recently moved over the Humboldt-Trinity border.
“It is burning a little bit into Humboldt County,” Cheryl Chipman, a fire spokesperson, said. “Maybe a quarter of a mile.”
According to InciWeb, the fire was active overnight, but crews have been successful in building and improving containment lines. At this time, no structures have been reported as destroyed, and there have been no reported injuries. The fire is five percent contained.
A community meeting is scheduled to take place at the Hyampom Community Center at 3 p.m. on June 13.
Weather today is predicted to be hot and dry, with moderate localized winds. Long term forecasts are currently predicting a slight cooling trend which could aid in fuel moisture recoveries into the weekend and early part of next week.
Smoke is now impacting a larger area. The North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District has issued the following announcement:
Recent dry lightning strikes have caused many small fires in the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forest as well as State Responsibility Areas. Current weather forecasts show the recent low pressure moving out of the area and replaced by a warming trend with drier weather and moderate to light winds over the area.
The Saddle Fire, located in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest near the town of Hyampom, continues to produce smoke in nearby communities. At this time, smoke is laying in valleys but may lift and transport to further locations throughout the day. Satellite images show smoke traveled north toward Willow Creek and to the southeast past the Hyampom area.
In Del Norte County, the Buckskin Fire (now approximately 1,200 acres) located near Cave Junction, Oregon is producing smoke impacts in downwind areas southwesterly of the fire. Satellite imagery indicates that Smith River could be in the path of the smoke. Crescent City may also be experiencing smoke from the fire.
Forecasting smoke impacts can be challenging as smoke can vary widely within just a few miles as Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties contain mountains, valleys, and a thousand different air flow patterns. Further Air Quality information will be provided to the public as updated information becomes available.
For 24-hour Air Quality Information, call the NCUAQMD’s hotline toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329), or visit the website at www.ncuaqmd.org.