Thousands of Lightning Strikes Leave Dozens of Fires Burning Hundreds of Acres in Northern California

Lightning Strikes in California August 2017

California “saw over 3,000 lightning strikes in 48 hours, with more on the way,” according to a tweet from Cal Fire yesterday.

Lightning flashed outside as Dan Dill, District Ranger for the Mad River area spoke on the phone about 2:30 this afternoon. Dill said that he had 18 fires burning in his district currently. “We had one today, three or four from yesterday and the rest from a storm on Monday,” he explained. The storms have been mostly dry with only a few scattered droplets today.

 

A basket from a helicopter drops down into the water

Trinity County locals flag for a helicopter getting water to fight fires. [Photos from Dick Assam]

“We have what we need right now to do the job,” he said, “but who knows what tomorrow will bring–it’s death by a thousand cuts..er..lightning strikes.”

 

The Ruth Complex is the collective name for all the fires in Dill’s area. One fire from the complex, the Dutchman, jumped to 500 acres after its start yesterday. “No structures are immediately threatened now,” he said. The fire is about a half mile from the nearest residence. Dill said crews are watching the fire and will put a couple of engines near it if the fire starts pushing towards the home.

“No structures are immediately threatened now,” Dill said. The fire is about a half mile from the nearest residence. Dill explained that crews are watching the fire and will put a couple of engines near it if the fire starts pushing towards the home.

A basket from a helicopter fighting fire drops down into a pond in Trinity County. [Photo by Dick Assam]

The Shasta Trinity National Forest, near Dill’s district has had 22 fires in the last four days. Only 12 have been contained leaving ten still burning.

Below is a list of the fires compiled for that area–(Fortunately, only about 20 acres have burned in spite of the large number of incidents.):

August 6, 2017

  1. 7:31 pmGrasshopper Fire – near Grasshopper Flat SW of Medicine Lake, Shasta McCloud Management Unit, 0.1 acres, fire is now contained
    2. 7:48 pm Wards Fire – near Sims Flat south of Castella, 0.3 acres, fire is now contained

 

August 7
3. 8:03 am Ridge Fire – near Mosquito Ridge, west of I-5 north of Lakehead, Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area, 0.2 acres, fire is now contained
4. 8:03 am Mill Fire – west of I-5 north of Lakehead, Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area, 0.10 acres, fire is now contained
5. 4:41 pm Gap Fire – near Glennison Gap northwest of Weaverville, Trinity River Management Unit, single tree on fire 0.1 acres, fire is now contained
6. 5:12 pm Kelly Fire – near Morgan Hill southeast of Hayfork, South Fork Management Unit, 0.5 acres, fire now contained
7. 5:46 pm Butter Fire – southeast of Hyampom, St. Johns Road cross of Buttercreek Road, South Fork Management Unit, 0.25 acres,  fire is now contained
8. 6:13 pm Pickett Fire – near Horse Ridge Lookout Road west of Ruth Lake, South Fork Management Unit, 6 acres

  1. 6:31 pmDeerlick Fire – near Deerlick Springs, South Fork Management Unit, 4.5 acres
  2. 6:45 pmHilton Fire – near Mount Hilton in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, 0.1 acres in very steep and inaccessible terrain, fire is being monitored by aircraft, no fire activity this morning
  3. 6:59 pmOak Fire – southeast of Hyanpom, South Fork Management Unit, 0.25 acres, fire is now contained
    12. 8:08 pm Fork Fire – near East Fork Lake in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, SE of Canyon Creek, 0.1 acres, fire is being monitored by aircraft, minimal fire activity

    August 8
    13. 8:44 am Weaver Fire – near West Weaver Creek northwest of Weaverville, Trinity River Management Unit, 1 acre, fire is now contained
    14. 10:39 am Ripstein Fire – near Ripstein Gulch in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area, Trinity River Management Unit, fire is now contained
    15. 12:55 pm Powell Fire – near Powell Ridge just north of the Yolla Bolly Wilderness Area, South Fork Management Unit, 1.3 acres, 4 smokejumpers on scene
    16. 2:41 pm Pierce Fire – north of Pierce/Snowman’s Hill area off Hwy 89, Shasta McCloud Management Unit, 0.25 acres, fire is now contained
    17. 5:59 pm Big Fire – near Big Bar, Trinity River Management Unit, single tree with possible ground fire, resources en route
    18. 10:46 pm Indian Fire – near Indian Valley east of South Fork Trinity River, South Fork Management Unit, 1 acre, fire is now contained
    19. 11:19 pm Rock Fire – near Miller Springs, South Fork Management Unit, 3 acres, resources on scene

 

August 9
20. 9:22 am Miller Fire – near Miller Creek, across from Pigeon Point, Trinity River Management Unit, resources en route

  1. 21.10:10 amHappy Fire – northeast of Hawkins Bar, Trinity River Management Unit. 0.1 acres, resources en route
  2. 12:12 pmJim Fire – near Jim’s Creek, South Fork Management Unit, 0.1 acres, resources en route
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10 comments

  • Oh no. A perfect storm

  • Whoa — map is grim and graphic. Hadn’t heard about the fire near East Fork Lake (s) in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Backpacked in there years ago — off by itself — don”t think the lake gets too many visitors.

    By the way, it’s cotton candy and snow cone time — the Trinity County Fair opens Friday in Hayfork. Runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Not too smoky here in Hayfork Valley at the moment. That could change quickly, of course.

    And speaking of the Trinity County Fair, check out Huell Howser’s video:

    https://vimeo.com/25148588

  • It’s Hyampom, not Hyanpom, and none of those fires listed are on the Mad River Ranger District or even the Six Rivers NF. All the fires listed are on the Shasta Trinity NF… You may want to try again to get a more local list, as Castella is 100 miles away from Dill’s area….none listed are Ruth Complex fires…

    • Dill said that he had 18 fires burning in his district currently. The list below that are all on Shasta Trinity National Forest.

    • You are right about the spelling of Hyampom. That list is a press release from the Shasta Trinity National Forest office and I didn’t notice their spelling error.

      But you missed the paragraph immediately proceeding the list. It carefully explains, “The Shasta Trinity National Forest, near Dill’s district has had 22 fires in the last four days. Only 12 have been contained leaving ten still burning. Below is a list of the fires compiled for that area.” Then I post the press release listing the fires in the Shasta Trinity National Forest. None of those listed are supposed to be in the Ruth Complex. I was talking about the number of fires started in the lightning storms all over and used both the Ruth Complex and the list from the list from the Shasta Trinity National Forest to illustrate the problem…

  • Thanks for the update Kym. Much appreciated

  • Thanks Kim, you site is the best! Clean, precise and informative. News without personal spin. I like it!

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