Helena and Fork Fires: Together They Have Consumed Over 16,000 Acres

Homes and business were destroyed as the Helena Fire rolled through the Junction City area. [Photo used with permission from Matthew Henderson. Click here to see more of his work]

Homes and business were destroyed as the Helena Fire rolled through the Junction City area a week ago. [Photo used with permission from Matthew Henderson. Click here to see more of his work.]

California has over 10,000 firefighters trying to hold back 23 wildfires and spotters will be looking for new starts after last night’s lightning storms—there are more storms predicted to continue today. Meanwhile, the Helena and Fork Fires are merging into a large fiery battleground. By one estimate, the two fires combined have swallowed about 16,885 acres. Containment on the Helena Fire has increased but the Fork Fire is still uncontained.

20170906_Helena_11x17topo

[Allow some time for the pdf file to load]

The fire is pushing past the top of the Weaver Bally ridge but is still behind dozer lines. According to the InciWeb, “Firelines are being constructed and strengthened from Junction City northeast to Glennison Gap. On the northern perimeter, the fire is backing into Brock Gulch and is holding along Brock Road. The fire has crossed into the Trinity Alps Wilderness near Canyon Creek.”

Infrared map of Helena Fork

Infrared image map of the Helena and Fork Fires. The information was captured about 2:30 a.m. [If you have Google Earth, you can get a more dimensional look at the fire here: 20170906_Helena_IR]

WEATHER: Though temperatures are expected to only reach a high of 83 degrees today, the National Weather Service continues to have bad news for residents of the area. “Scattered to numerous thunderstorms with abundant lightning” are expected to develop through Thursday. Today, there will be only a possibility of isolated thunderstorms but on Thursday the chances increase to 30% after 11 a.m.

TRAVEL on Hwy 299: According to the US Forest Service,

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will open Highway 299 to through traffic only at the following times: 5:30am, 9:00am, 2:00pm, 5:30pm, and 9:30 pm. This schedule is for Wednesday 9/6 only. Eastbound and westbound traffic in line at these times will be allowed through the area under traffic control, depending on fire activity and operations. All areas under evacuation orders remain closed to access. Highway closures are currently east of Big Flat and east of Junction City. Officials are estimating 40 minutes to get through the area at opening times.

SCHOOLS:  Click here for more information: Some Schools Opting to Close or Go to Minimum Day Schedule for the 6th

UPDATE Thursday: Lightning Striking Near Helena Fire This Morning

Earlier Chapters on the Helena Fire: 

  • Laytonville Rock
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

12 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *