[UPDATE 7:28 p.m.]Day 18: Lightning Fires


Castle Fire on Friday, August 14. [Photo from U.S. Forest Service – Six Rivers National Forest’s Facebook page]

Yesterday, the River Complex outstripped all other fires to become the biggest burning on US Forest lands in California this year. The news seems unrelentingly bad at times but we still keep the information rolling so you know what is happening. As we update each incident until late evening, we’ll note the time the facts were posted so you can quickly see if there is something new. Look for the most recent general updates on the bottom but new information for individual fires is posted in the summaries below in blue.  (Newest maps of the fires here.) Those that have expanded 20% or more will have their acreage in red bold type. 

  • Fork Complex (Trinty Pines and north to Hayfork):(Current as of 6:30 p.m.) 32,476 acres burned and 42% contained. Structures Destroyed: Residences 8, other buildings 4, Firefighter injuries to date: 7, Total Personnel: 2,470. “The Barker and Blue Fires are holding and remain quiet in terms of fire behavior activity, although both are still retaining heat within their interior. Firefighting efforts for this evening will continue to concentrate in securing the northwest corner of the Peak Fire. In addition, smoke along the Wildwood Road corridor was a large factor for today, making fire fighter efforts very difficult.” (More info here.)
  • Gasquet Fire: (Current as of 5 p.m.) 3761 acres burned and 23% containment. Total Personnel: 654. “Sunday a thermal trough caused gusty east winds of 5 to 10 mph. Temperatures heated up into the 80’s to to lower 90’s with relative humidity as low as 23%. There is another Red Flag Warning from 20:00 Sunday through 08:00 Monday.” (More info here)
  • Humboldt Complex (Alderpoint and surroundings):(Current as of 7:10 p.m.) 4,883 acres burned and 95% contained. Structures Destroyed: 1 residence, 6 outbuildings. Firefighter injuries to date: 14, Total Personnel: 1,392. “Fires are burning in steep, rugged terrain with poor access and heavy timber fuels. Fires threaten Mount Lassic Wilderness, as well as commercial timberland.” (More info here) containment. Structures burned: 9 residences, 18 outbuildings.  “Damage assessment has been completed. Final determination confirmed three structures initially claimed as residences were confirmed to be hunting cabins. These new totals were counted as other minor structures.” (More info here.) Telephone number (707) 967-4208
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    Thank you sign on the Mad River Complex. [Photo from InciWeb]

    Mad River Complex (Ruth Lake and Surroundings):(Current as of 6:40 p.m.) 22,822 acres burned and 65% contained. Estimated Cost to Date: $20.2 million Injuries:5 Total Personnel: 1,353, Structures Destroyed: 2 residences, 2 outbuildings. The Gobbler fire is in patrol and mop up status with no movement anticipated. The Pickett Fire is expected to continue to back down to Highway 36. A firing operation is planned to help bring the fire down to Highway 36, if conditions are favorable. The west flank along Mad River Road is not expected to move and is in patrol status.The Lassic Fire will continue to work its way toward the south and west. Defensive firing operations are being implemented on the southeast portion of the fire to limit its spread to the east.” (More info here) Telephone number for the public information officer is 707-574-6289.
  • River Complex:(Current as of 12:45 p.m.) 37,165 burned and 18% contained. Total Personnel: 699. “Smoke covered the fire which helped control fire activity.” (More info here.) Telephone number for the public information officer 530-276-8559. Estimated containment: October 01st, 2015
  • Route Complex (south and west of Hyampom and Buck Mt. area):(Current as of 4:47 p.m.) 27,801 acres burned and 28% contained. Structures destroyed: 2 outbuildings. Total Personnel: 909. Injury: 1. “The majority of the east side of the fire near Hyampom is in patrol status while direct attack is planned on a small section. Crews continue structure protection in the Hyampom area.” (More info here.) Telephone number for the public information officer is 707-574-6865.
  • South Complex (north and west of Hyampom):(Current as of 6:30 p.m.) 20,379 acres burned and 30% containment. “Firefighters will continue to provide structure defense in and around the structures along Garrett Road, while crews construct fireline and mop up hot spots across the fire area. Crews will also monitor the fire as it continues to back down slowly toward the South Fork of the Trinity River.” (More info here)


Here’s our tools to keep you abreast of what’s happening:

Newest Info: Next, the twitter feed near the bottom right of our home page is continuously updated with the latest tweets from Cal Fire, other local news organizations, the National Weather Service, etc.

Above that are two scanner feeds–one that will take you to Eureka/north coverage. The other that will take you to Eureka/south coverage.

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. 

Don’t miss a post: In our right hand column is a subscribe box (for those accessing on mobiles, scroll down to the bottom and the box is just above recent posts.) Fill that out and a link to every story will appear in your email.
UPDATE 5:34 p.m.: Here’s a satellite photo of the smoke.

Earlier Chapters: