Willie Fire Races Over Three Miles to the East
At first, the fire which began east of the North Fork of the Eel River and east of the Willie Hoaglin Place grew slowly. Attention centered on containing and extinguishing the 22 other fires in this district started by the thousands of lightning strikes. But then, between yesterday and today, the fire exploded from 40 acres to 1500 acres and began running due east to Raglan Flat where the head of the fire burns this evening, Dill explained.The fire is burning mostly in grass and, consequently, moving fast. Dill said that the crews are trying to extinguish the quick moving blaze. “We’re in full suppression mode,” he said. “[But] it is resistant to suppression.”
Speaking of the number of lightning fires started earlier this week already extinguished by his forestry crews, Dill said, “I am so proud of my firefighters. They are impressive.” Of the entire Ruth Complex which has now consumed 3500 acres, only three of the fires are still burning. The others have all been extinguished. The Secret Fire is still burning but is contained. Only the Dutchman and the Willie are uncontained. The Dutchman is burning slowly but the Willie is moving quickly through grass towards the east.
The speed and size of the latter fire prompted Dill to request assistance. The Nor Cal Management Team Five took command at 6 p.m. of the entire Ruth Complex. If the fire continues towards the east, Dill said, it won’t encounter many structures. However, “if it turns and goes north [towards Ruth Lake]….that will be problematic…”