[UPDATE Thursday Morning] Hwy 299 Closed at Helena Due to Fire

The top three photos were taken by Laurie Haney who says she was one of the last cars allowed through Hwy 299

A wildfire began burning near Helena about 5:11 p.m. The fire is reported to be between 100 and 200 acres and threatening structures. Hwy 299 has been closed at Helena. Caltrans recommends that drivers take an alternate route.

Trinity County Sheriff’s Office reports that the fire has reached Red Hill Road.

More resources, helicopters and ground crews, have been requested.

UPDATE 7 p.m.: According to the CHP Traffic Incident Information Page, Hwy 299 will “most likely” be closed overnight. In addition, residents are being evacuated.

UPDATE 7:01 p.m.: 299 is closed on the east side at Junction City at Dutch Creek Road. We’re still trying to determine where the west side closure of 299 is located.

UPDATE 7:04 p.m.: The latest report is for 200 acres and rapid rate of spread. Fire is in Cooper Bar Estates. There are many spot fires with one engine trying to do what they can.

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: According to a person listening to the local scanner, “It’s getting ugly…an engine is in trouble asking for help and TCSO say they got 911 3 people trapped in a house with fire around it.”

UPDATE 7:20 p.m.: Inciweb is reporting: “The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order for residents of Junction City.” Inciweb also states, “It is burning along highway 299 and is currently burning on both sides of the Trinity River. It is currently under 300 acres with zero percent containment.”

UPDATE 7:34 p.m.: According to a person listening to the Trinity County scanner, “One engine just had to cut and run, and TCSO is asking for ems [Emergency Medical Services] and fire for some people who had to bail off hwy and are in path of fire.

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: Inciweb is reporting, “SR 299W is closed east of Junction City (near PM 45) and west of Helena Bridge….Several structures are threatened.”

UPDATE 8:34 p.m.:  Inciweb also states, “An evacuation center is being established at the First Baptist Church in Weaverville located at 1261 Main Street.”

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: According to our reader who is listening to the scanner, “[The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office] is working hard to get people out…some won’t go. It’s across canyon creek rd [and] running.”

UPDATE 10:12 p.m.: Video by Laurie Haney taken at the Helena Bridge about 9 p.m.

UPDATE 10:20 p.m.: Here’s a story of how a 17-Year-Old Mendocino Girl and Friends Fled the Helena Fire in Trinity County.

UPDATE 10:25 p.m.: Inciweb is reporting that the fire is about 500 acres now.

UPDATE 10:30 p.m.: According to KRCR TV, “An animal shelter has been created at Trinity High School located at 321 Victory Lane, Weaverville. For more information call 626-6127.”

UPDATE Thursday morning: Read the latest information by clicking this link: Hwy 299 Still Closed After 5000 Acre Wildfire Burned Homes and Sent Residents Fleeing

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