[UPDATE 10:45 p.m. Air Quality Advisory Issued] Day 6: Lightning Fires


Image tweeted by State Senator Mike McGuire this morning.

Across California, over 9000 firefighters struggle to tame 21 wildfires. In the Emerald Counties, homes are threatened and residents forced to evacuate. Stay on top of the news about these blazes here as we update you throughout the day on all things wildfire. 

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Past Info: Reminder, at the bottom of this post under Earlier Chapters are links to our previous coverage. Much of it still very relevant. Particularly note our newest fire maps. We’ll be updating them throughout the day.

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UPDATE 8:40 a.m.: The South Complex near Hyampom now covers over 11,000 acres. A tent campground has been set up to accommodate many of the over 300 personnel brought in to fight the fire. According to Inciweb, “The weather is moderating allowing the smoke to clear more than previous operations periods. This could increase fire activity resulting in additional movement of fires.” (See more information on the fire here.)


Fire camp in the early days.

UPDATE 8:45 a.m.: The Humboldt fires which stretch south from the Bridgeville area spread over about 3,192 acres and are only 20% contained on this the 6th day after the lightning storm. Cal Fire says, “Firelines are currently holding and being reinforced.”

UPDATE 8:57 a.m.: Here’s the latest on the road situation.

Hwy 36 is closed at the Humboldt Co Line to just west of  Wildwood Road inTrinity CO.

Hwy 3 is closed at Morgan Hill Rd to Jct 36 i n Trinity CO.

UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: Information on the fires near Ruth Lake has been updated.

There are currently four fires burning on the Mad River Complex totaling 13,696 acres. Containment of the complex is at 8 percent, with 783 personnel currently assigned to the incident. …

The Lassic Fire is of primary concern to firefighters, due to its location in wilderness, and its potential to spread toward residential communities. Crews will begin constructing contingency lines today to prevent fire from moving toward residential areas. The Gobbler Fire continues to burn down slope toward Ruth Lake. Dozer lines are in place on the south side, from which firefighters will bring fire downhill, removing fuel.The Van Duzen Road (County Road 511) has been closed from Brown’s Camp to Zenia turn off due to concerns for public safety.

The Pickett Fire has backed down to the Mad River Road (County Road 501) in several locations. On the south east corner firefighters will continue to build dozer lines and hand lines to keep fire from moving toward State Highway 36 and the community of Forest Glen. A significant amount of containment line has been completed on the northeast side of the Pickett Fire.

Temperatures over the Mad River Complex will be in the high 80s, with sunny to partly cloudy skies with relative humidity expected to be around 23 percent.

..Evacuations remain in effect in the Mad River Road from Highway 36 to Three Forks Road and on the backside of the lake, on Ruth/Zenia Road to the Ruth Dam. An evacuation advisory is in effect, in the Van Duzen Road area. Road closures are in effect for Highway 36 at Route 3 west to Lower Mad River Road, Lower Mad River Road to Ruth/Zenia Road, and Ruth/Zenia Road to Three Forks Area. A Large Animal Evacuation center by Trinity County is available and can be reached at (530) 623-8127.

For more information: Click here.

UPDATE 10:50 a.m.:
Here’s a link for those who have (or fear they might have soon) property damage from the fires. Click here.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Showers in Lake County help dampen the Rocky Fire. Caltrans says a light rain fell in the area.

UPDATE 4:20 p.m.: An Air Quality Advisory has been issued for unhealthy conditions for Humboldt and Trinity counties.

Smoke levels in these area(s) have been classified as Unhealthy and are creating a health hazard. Smoke is being generated by the numerous fires of the Humboldt Lightning Complex, Mad River Complex, Rail Fire, River Complex, Fork Complex, and Barker Fire. Smoke will likely settle in nearby canyons, valleys, and basins during nights and mornings and cause very poor air quality, but afternoon conditions will allow smoke to lift up and drift, to the N to NE today and Wednesday, and in variable directions on Thursday. Depending upon your proximity and in areas near the fires, smoke concentrations could range from Unhealthy to even Hazardous. These conditions are problematic for those with health conditions. Smoke levels continue to be monitored. Please watch for updates. People are recommended to restrict outdoor activity. [Read more here.]

UPDATE 4:33 p.m.: Want to learn about South Complex? Here are two meetings you should know about, says the US Forest Service.

UPDATE 4:50 p.m.: More on the Trinity Co. evacuations and road closures here.

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: More on the Gasquet Fire:

UPDATE 9:50 p.m.: Changes made to the Trinity County Evacuations and Road Closures. Click here for the latest as of 9:50 p.m.

UPDATE 9:56 p.m.: Terri Klemetson reports on the Humboldt Lightning Fires.

UPDATE 10:45 p.m.:  Cal Fire released their latest information on the Southern Humboldt fires. So far the fires have consumed 3,242 acres and is 25% contained. There have been two firefighters injured and four outbuildings destroyed (further investigation revealed that a structure initially classified as a residence was actually an outbuilding.)


Earlier Chapters:



  • Here’s last night’s update on State wide fires:

    State Incidents

    Humboldt LCA, Humboldt County, Update
    2,895 acres, 20% contained

    Big Creek, Tuolumne County, Update
    204 acres, 95% contained

    Rocky, Lake County, Update
    62,000 acres, 12% contained
    Fire crossed Highway 20 and experienced extreme fire behavior with spotting
    Mandatory and advisory evacuations continue in the fire area
    Highway 20 and Highway 16 closed in the fire area

    Swedes, Butte County, Update
    400 acres, 100% contained
    This is the last report for this incident

    Lowell, Nevada County, Update
    2,304 acres, 85% contained
    Incident has been transitioned back to the local CAL FIRE Unit

    Wragg, Napa County, Update
    8,051 acres, 97% contained
    Incident has been transitioned back to the local CAL FIRE Unit

    Unified Incidents

    Fork Complex, Trinity County, Update
    8,083 acres, 5% contained
    Federal CIIMT #4 assumed command of the incident today at 0600 hours
    NorCal Team #2 assumed command of the “South Complex” which now includes individual fires previously included in the Fork Complex
    CAL FIRE and USFS are in Unified Command

    Federal Incidents

    Willow, Madera County, Update
    5,702 acres, 70% contained
    Southern portion of the fire burned into the footprint of the 2001 North Fork Fire

    Deer Horn #2, Humboldt County, New
    70 acres, 40% contained
    Forward spread has been stopped

    River Complex, Trinity County, Update
    3,745 acres, 0% contained

    Frog, Modoc County, Update
    4,213 acres, 50% contained
    Lava and Howard’s Gulch campgrounds have been closed

    Mad River Complex, Trinity County, Update
    13,557 acres, 8% contained
    Federal CIIMT#5 assumed command of the incident from SoCal Team #1 at 1800 hours
    Complex consists of the Buck, Jack, Tierney, Swayback, Lassic, Gobbler, and Pickett fires

    Cabin, Tulare County, Update
    4,050 acres, 0% contained
    Contingency planning with affected agencies is ongoing to address structure defense and evacuations if communities near the fire’s perimeter become threatened.

    Chorro, Ventura County, Update
    282 acres, 70% contained

    SAC Executive Intel Summary July/August Fire Siege Stats 2030 Hours 8/3/2015
    This report reflects revised fire stats from additional reporting and mapping sources with a result of more accurate numbers.
    Fire Activity Since July 22, 2015:
    State Fires: 559
    State Acres: 77,477
    Federal Fires: 258
    Federal Acres: 41,409

    Current Large Fire Status:
    State Fires: 6
    Federal Fires: 9
    Structures Threatened: 7,184
    Structures Damaged: 9
    Structures Destroyed: 56
    Firefighter Injuries: 18
    Firefighter Deaths: 1 Fed

    Current Large Fire Resources:
    Firefighters: 10,258
    Engines: 736
    Crews: 228
    Dozers: 128
    Helicopters: 58

    Additional Resources:
    State Air Tankers On: 23
    Air Tankers (CA Contract) 1
    Assisting State(s): 1 (NV)

    Evacuations and Road Closures:
    River Complex: Communities in the New River drainage north of Trinity Village are under evacuation orders and Denny Road is closed. In the next 12 hours the fire will continue to burn around 5 Waters Ranch, Dailey Ranch, Hoboken and Denny. Heavy smoke continues to impact the communities of Burnt Ranch, Willow Creek, Hoopa, Del Loma and Big Bar.
    South Complex: Currently multiple structures are immediately threatened in the Hyampom and Coral Bottom communities. Evacuations continue and other areas could be threatened based on changing conditions.
    Lowell Fire: EVACUATIONS AND CLOSURES: All evacuation advisories have been lifted. Forest Closure(s). The Tahoe National Forest is maintaining a forest closure with specified exemptions for the fire area.
    Red Dog Road at Chalk Bluff Road
    Red Dog Road at Buckeye Ridge Road
    Banner Quaker at Lower Green Horn Road
    Banner Quaker at Chalk Bluff Road
    Lowell Hill Road at Mule Spring Road
    Secret Town at Chicago Park Power House Road
    Diggin Road at Main Street in Dutch Flat
    Water transportation, hydro and power transmission, petroleum pipeline, UP Railroad, Interstate 80
    Watersheds & commercial timber; Cultural, heritage, wildlife, and environmentally sensitive areas.
    Marijuana cultivation, mining tailings/shafts, hydro generation infrastructure, 115kv high power transmission lines.

    Frog Fire: Road closures in the fire area are in effect. Lava Campground and Howard Gulch Campground is closed. Round Mountain Lookout is threatened and Long Bell Fire Station has been evacuated.
    Fork Complex: Mandatory evacuations in Trinity Pines, Barker Creek Road, Mill Gulch ( Highway 3 to Hayfork), Kingsbury Gulch Road (Hayfork Area), and for residences in the area of Morgan Hill Road from Pine Street to Kingsbury Gulch Road. Voluntary evacuation for Farmer Ranch Road. The Shasta Trinity National Forest is initiating a forest closure pending approval. Red Cross has established an evacuation center at the Solid Rock Christian Church at the intersection of State Route 3 and Tule Creek Road in Hayfork. The Salvation Army is also offering water and meals at the evacuation center. Road closures on State Route 3 from State Route 36 to Hyampom Road; State Route 36 from the junction with State Route 3 to Post Mountain; State Route 3 south of the Hayfork Fairgrounds.
    Rocky Fire: In total, all evacuations impact over 13,118 citizens living in over 5530 residences. The specific areas under mandatory evacuations include the Double Eagle housing development, the Communities of Wilbur Springs, Spring Valley (off of Long Valley Rd), Indian Valley Area, Jerusalem Creek area, Jerusalem Valley, and Morgan Valley Rd. x Butte Cr. Rd, Grizzly Canyon, Long Branch Drive, Lance Road, Cougar Road, Red Rocks, Meridian Road, Antelope Road, Mule Skinner Road, Flint Look Place, Moccasin Road, Roundball Road, Watertrough Road, Grigsby Canyon, Lucky Canyon, Remington Canyon, Walker Ridge, Walker Ridge Road, No Guns Road, Meriann Drive, Gibson Hill, Stemple Canyon, Harley Gulch, Stemple Canyon, Jack Canyon, Grizzly Canyon and Deadman Canyon. Mandatory evacuations are based on continued significant fire growth and movement in all directions. An evacuation advisory has been issued for the City of Clear Lake, East of Hwy 53. The fire has crossed Hwy 20 and continues to impact Hwy 16 north of the Yolo County line.
    Chorro: Reyes Creek Campground evacuated by Ventura County Sherriff’s Department. Hard closure of Hwy 33 south near Wheeler Gorge and north near Lockwood Valley continues at this time.
    Cabin: A Forest Order is in effect closing a portion of the Golden Trout Wilderness and trails within the fire area.
    Willow: Residences onDouglas Station Road remain under the Mandatory Evacuation Order. An evacuation center remains open In Oakhurst at the Oakhurst Community Center.
    Fork Complex: Evacuations continue and other areas are being evaluated based on the changing conditions.
    Other Threats:
    MAD River Complex: Structures in the Mad River and Ruth Lake area; Power plant and distribution lines; repeater at Pickett Peak and Mathews Dam; Cell tower microwave system; Schools; Community centers; Community health facilities; Public services; drinking water for Eureka and Arcata and watersheds. Continued health effects from exposure to smoke and particulate matter from the fire.
    Frog: Long Bell State Game Refuge within the fire and to the north; WAPA 500 kv power lines 3 miles to the northwest; PG&E power lines and natural gas pipelines 3 miles to the northwest; USFS lookout 2 miles to the west; Grazing allotments around the fire area; Commercial private timberlands and plantations to the East, South, and West.
    Fork Complex: Multiple structures are immediately threatened in the Hayfork, Post Mountain, and Trinity Pines communities. There are public health threats due to a dense smoke inversion. Infrastructure threats include public safety communication infrastructure, Verizon Communication infrastructure, PG&E and Trinity County PUD power transmission lines, PG&E major gas line; Several sole logistical transportation routes servicing the fire area and communities within. Resources at risk include multiple watersheds & commercial timber/livestock; cultural/heritage, wildlife, and environmentally sensitive areas.
    Rocky Fire: Structures; Major communication and utility infrastructure; Sole logistical transportation routes; Commercial timber and livestock lands; Various natural, cultural, and environmental resources.
    Humboldt LCA: Threat to private commercial timberland; Habitat for threatened and endangered salmonid species and terrestrial wildlife such as Northern Spotted Owls. Threat to domestic water supplies of local residents. The Eel River is designated as Wild and Scenic River.
    River Complex: In the next 12 hours the fire will continue to burn around 5 Waters Ranch, Dailey Ranch, Hoboken and Denny. Heavy smoke continues to impact the communities of Burnt Ranch, Willow Creek, Hoopa, Del Loma and Big Bar.
    Rough: Fire is approximately 2 miles to the North of the Kings Wild and Scenic River area in the Kings River Special Management Area. The value at risk is the visual quality impacts for the Wild and Scenic River.
    Cabin: The fire is located on very remote, steep, rocky terrain within the Golden Trout Wilderness. Potential threat to Peck Cabins; Critical Little Kern Golden Trout; Mountain Yellow Legged Frog; Spotted Owl habitats. Smoke impact to multiple communities. Wilderness recreational impact from smoke, trail closures, and suppression efforts. Private cabins and outbuildings located to the northwest of the fire.
    Chorro: Burning near Matilija Wilderness.

      • You’re welcome Kim, I get these updates every morning and I can continue to post them for the newsletter if that’s OK?

        • Thank-you Kym, and thank you Lou.

          Estelle Fennell just gave the Garberville Rotary Club a state of the county address, needles to say it included a lot of fire related updates. The lives that she saved with her constant and tireless updates during the Canoe Fire was outstanding, back when she was KMUD news director.

          KMUD is once again providing the community with much needed and appreciated fire news, thanks!

  • that DC10 flies all afternoon right over my house and roar of motors scares my dog
    but he will have to put up with the noise till the fire is out
    would rather have a scared dog than find a new house

  • Hi Kym. Thanks for the wonderful updates. Any information about the fires in Gasquet?

  • Ukiah Daily Journal, Mendocino County
    Three lightning fires continue
    POSTED: 08/03/15, 7:17 PM PDT | UPDATED: 2 HRS (9:PM) AGO

    WILLOWS, Calif. — While the Rocky Fire continues to threaten thousands of homes in Lake County, there are several smaller lightning fires being battled in the Mendocino National Forest where firefighters are continuing search for and identify fires sparked by lightning from recent storms over the Forest.

    Of the approximately 15 fires located on the Forest, only three on the Upper Lake Ranger District remain active, with the other fires declared either contained, controlled or out.

    The Etsel Fire is approximately 32 acres and 60 percent contained. It is located in the Yuki Wilderness and is burning in heavy timber and brush.

    The Boardman Fire is 72 acres and 30 percent contained.

    The Deer Fire, burning southeast of Lake Pillsbury, is approximately 100 acres. It is burning in mixed conifer. There are three structures threatened. Two engine crews and one Type 1 handcrew are currently working on the fire with the help of various air resources.

    As dry conditions and hot temperatures continue, firefighters anticipate discovering more lightning fires in coming days. There are additional thunderstorms in the forecast this week.

    I thank all the firefighters bravely fighting hard and to all the press that keep us informed.


    If you look close in the window of the plane, you can clearly see Tom S. flying a chemtrail jet over NorCal.

  • Thanks federal forest land managers thanks environmentalists another year of breathing in your cancer-causing smoke

    • They’ll just blame it on vaping or Mmj or something, mark my words.
      On topic, thank you for the updates, you are amazing & highly appreciated.

  • Any word on the steelhead fire and the winchester ridge fire

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  • Pingback: [UPDATE 10:20 p.m.] Day 20: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 9:34 p.m.] Day 21: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: Day 22: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

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  • Pingback: [UPDATE 8:40 p.m.] Day 23: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

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