[UPDATE 8:42 p.m.] Day 24: Lightning Fires


Crews cutting fireline through dense brush on the Nickowitz Fire. [Photo from InciWeb]

Two dozen smoke and tension filled days later, we are still following the aftereffects of the huge lightning storm that stomped the Emerald Counties in late July. Each day we summarize the fires in a post and then add important information as it comes in.

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. 

  • Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King, checking under the hood before the day's work. This one doesn't use a bucket, it has a long snorkel that it pumps water into an internal tank.

    Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King, checking under the hood before the day’s work. This one doesn’t use a bucket, it has a long snorkel that it pumps water into an internal tank. [Photo by Uti Deva]

    Horse Fire (northeast of Shelter Cove): (Current as of 7:30 p.m.) 137 acres  and 33% contained. (Better mapping dropped the total acreage) Total Fire Personnel: 872+. “The fire is burning in steep rugged terrain with limited ground access for fire crews. Resources will continue to construct fire line over night with hand crews and bulldozers in accessible areas. Fuels are at critical levels and are burning in the same pattern as the Saddle fire of 1988. …Motorists need to please drive cautiously while driving near the fire area where heavy equipment and fire engines are traveling to and from the fire.” (More info here.) Fire Information Line: 925-588-9192
  • Fork Complex (Trinty Pines and north to Hayfork):(Current as of 7:25 p.m.) 36,494 acres burned and 78% contained. Structures Destroyed: Residences 8, other buildings 4, Firefighter injuries to date: 12, Total Personnel: 1498-. “Most of the Fork Complex continues to be quiet, with fire activity concentrated in the Chanchelulla Wilderness area….There will be a community meeting tomorrow evening at the Hayfork Community Church, 7450, Highway 3, Hayfork, at 7:00 p.m. It will be streamed live at: http://bit.ly/1JEWB3k.” (More info here.)
  • Gasquet Fire: (Current as of 7:55 p.m.) 15,216 acres burned and 16-% containment. Total Personnel: 631-. Injuries: 5.  “Fuels are at/or above thresholds for activity and large fire growth. Expect movement towards the NE and East along uncontrolled firelines.” (More info here)
  • Humboldt Complex (Alderpoint and surroundings):(Current as of 7:15 p.m. on 19th) 4,883 acres burned and100% contained. Structures Destroyed: 1 residence, 6 outbuildings. Firefighter injuries to date: 14, Total Personnel:1,392. “Currently, no additional fire growth is anticipated.  (More info here)
  • Mad River Complex (Ruth Lake and Surroundings) Now Combined with the Route Complex -see below: (8:10 a.m.) 32,706 acres and 65% contained (More info here) “Hwy 36 has reopened…The Lassic Fire continues to spread to the west and south.” Telephone number for the public information officer is 707-574-6289Also check out our maps, photos and measurements by clicking here.
  • Nickowitz Fire (northern Humboldt/southern Del Norte):(Current as of 8:00 p.m.) 5295 acres and 53% contained. Total Personnel: 390. ”Main fire spread will be to the southwest along Nickowitz Creek and Soapstone Gulch below the 13N01 road.”  (More info here) Phone: 530-627-3246.
  • River Complex:(Current as of 8:15 p.m.) 50,065 burned and 22% contained. Total Personnel: 637-. “A community meeting has been scheduled at the Del Loma RV Park for tomorrow, Sunday, August 23rd at 6 p.m.” (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) Now Combined with the Mad River Complex:(Current as of 4:30 p.m.) 34,543 acres burned and 35% contained. Structures destroyed: 2 outbuildings. Total Personnel: 854. Injury: 1. “Winds will be light and primarily terrain driven, slightly stronger winds are possible Sunday.” (More info here.) Telephone number for the public information officer is 707-574-6865. In addition more information here states, “Incident is expected to see active fire behaviors. “ 
  • South Complex (north and west of Hyampom):(Current as of 7:30 p.m.) 23,565 acres burned and 50% containment. Personnel: 813.  “Today the inversion remained in place, preventing the use of aircraft but also moderating fire spread.” (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 8:42 p.m.: New fire in Lake County! Its dangerous and already 400 acres. Click here for more.

UPDATE 8:44 p.m.: Hwy 36 was temporarily closed but is now back open.

Earlier Chapters:



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