[UPDATE 12:25 p.m.: Roads Update] Lightning Striking Near Helena Fire This Morning
According to a senior commenter on a site frequented by firefighters, “This system is producing heavy rain and frequent lightning. There have been a few down strikes in the Weaverville and Trinity Center areas. Personnel on the Helena incident should take shelter in vehicles and appropriate safety areas until this storm cell passes out of the area.”
The good news is the rain is slowing the fire. InciWeb reports, “Rainfall totals ranged from .5 to .75 inches.”
The Helena/Fork fire expanded on nearly all sides yesterday. The Fork and Helena combined encompass over 20,000 acres. According to InciWeb, the Helena fire is 16,145 and Forks fire is 3,417. The two are only about 1/2 mile apart and are expected to merge soon.20170907_Helena_Fork_IR_11x17topo
The infrared flight last night found five possible spot fires. These are
(1) north side Brock Gulch in small drainage west central; (2) south side Rarick Gulch on north facing slope just east of road/canyon running north/south thru central area fire; (3) east facing slope off east end fire between edge and FS33438 (?) road near Low Gap; (4) west of Hocker Flat on northeast facting slope; (5) West end fire, East facing slope just west of Miller Creek.
WEATHER: Thunderstorms, lightning, rain, and highs in the Eighty’s are predicted for today, according to the National Weather Service.
TRAVEL on Hwy 299: According to Caltrans, The windows of traveling for today are:
• 5:30 a.m.
• 9 a.m.
• 2 p.m.
• 5:30 p.m.
• 9:30 p.m.
SCHOOLS: Trinity County:
- Junction City Elementary is closed through the end of the week.
- Douglas City Elementary School District is closed through the end of the week.
- Trinity Alps Unified is closed through the end of the week. This includes
UPDATE 10 a.m.: Some residents are being allowed back into evacuated areas. The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office issued the following press release:
UPDATE 12:25 p.m.: The CHP released the following information,
Per the Trinity County Sheriffs Office and Office of Emergency Services along with the CIIMT #3, as of noon today, the evacuation order will be lifted for the residents on the south side of SR-299. Residents will be allowed to re-enter as of 12:00 pm, in cycles of 20 cars every 15 minutes. Residents are encouraged to be aware of the continued fire suppression operations in the area, and the dangers associated with increased traffic. All other evacuation orders remain in effect :
Canyon Creek Road, Upper Road, Lower Road, Valdor Road, and Powerhouse Road.
To prepare for this, the CHP and Caltrans will be moving the east highway closure to just west of the Junction City Campground. As of now, the closure for through traffic will remain as regularly scheduled at:
5:30 am, 9:00 am, 2:00 pm, 5:30 pm, 9:00 pm
Please check Caltrans District 2 and the CHP – Trinity River Facebook and Twitter pages for updates as highway conditions can change quickly.
The California Interagency Incident Management Team #3 and the USFS Shasta Trinity National Forest will be holding a community meeting today, September 7, at 5:30 p.m. at the Trinity Alps Performing Arts Center in Weaverville. If technically possible, the meeting will be livestreamed on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest’s Facebook page USFSShastaTrinity NF .
Earlier Chapters on the Helena Fire:
- Hwy 299 Closed at Helena Due to Fire
- A 17-Year-Old Mendocino Girl Recounts How She and Friends Fled the Helena Fire in Trinity County
- Hwy 299 Still Closed After 6000 Acre Wildfire Burned Homes and Sent Around 2000 Residents Fleeing
- Smoke Levels Near Helena Fire on 299 Are Hazardous
- Helena: Maps and 299 to Remain Closed
- Governor Brown Declares State of Emergency for Trinity County Due to Wildfire
- Helena Fire Disrupts Frontier Communications’ Service
- Helena Fire Pushes Toward Junction City After Destroying Over 140 Structures; Fork Fire Spreads West
- Helena and Fork Fires: Maps and Morning Update
- As Their Home Burns in the Helena Fire, a Mother and Daughter Are Saved by Passing Heros
- 299 to Open Twice This Evening
- Hwy 299 to Open Multiple Times Today
- Helena: Containment Creeps Upwards in Some Areas But Fire Continues to Expand
- Schools Closed Due to Smoke or Wildfires
- Is the Helena Fire Impacting You? Trinity County and CalOES Have a Place to Help
- Hwy 299 Will Again Be Open for Only Brief Periods Tuesday
- A Short Drive on Hwy 299 Shows Some of the Devastation Left by the Helena Fire
- Helena and Fork Fires: Together They Have Consumed Over 16,000 Acres
- Some Schools Opting to Close or Go to Minimum Day Schedule for the 6th