[UPDATE 12:14 p.m.] Hwy 96 Remains Closed as the Mill Creek Fire Grows to 1500 Acres

Smoke from the Mills Creek Fire Creeps toward Hwy 96 yesterday.

Smoke from the Mills Creek Fire Creeps toward Hwy 96 yesterday. [Photo from CHP-Humboldt]

The Mill Creek Fire continues to push towards Hwy 96. Evacuation advisories are in place for the Norton and Mill Creek areas, according to the Northern California Geographic Coordination Center. They also say the fire is now 1,500 acres and only 5% contained.

“Hwy 96 is closed in the Mill Creek area,” the Center reports. “[T]raffic is being directed through Dowd Rd.” According to the CHP Traffic Incident Information Page, the road is unlikely to reopen and the closure may remain in place “maybe for a few days.”

The weather is expected to be hot and dry today which won’t help firefighters control the situation.


Operations map of the Mills Creek Fire showing the different Fire Divisions (Div A, Div B, Div C, and Div Z) working each area and the Drop Points (DP’s) where supplies are left. [To see details, either use zoom or download a pdf by clicking on the map]

UPDATE 12:14 p.m.: 

Press release from Hoopa Tribe

Earlier Chapters: 



  • The hills have eyez

    This is a scary fire because the terrain is really steep and hard to reach. The people in the mountain communities have already been dealing with smoke from the other fires for some time, and now this. I have family and friends out there so thank you for covering all the fires Kym.

  • Yes please get a handle on this fire it’s thousand acres but please also be very careful don’t want any firefighters injured but you need to stop it before it turns into a disaster

  • Thank you for the updates.

  • The DP numbers are Drop Points, not “Dip points”. Drop points are where equipment and supplies are stored ( gas and bar oil, fusees, cases of bottled water, pumps, fire hose, etc.) until needed, and meeting places. If a water source was for helicopter dipping it’s called a “Dip site” , not “Dip point.” There is no term ” Dip point”. Look at the map legend on the bottom. The solid black dots are Drop points, with 2 of them along Hwy. 96 itself.

  • From Hoopa FD

    FIRE UPDATE – Great Basin Team 6 assumed command of the Mill Creek 1 Fire today, August 20, 2018 at 6:00 a.m., led by Incident Commander Brook Chadwick. The Incident Management Team is comprised of individuals from several agencies working within the Great Basin (Idaho, Nevada, Utah & Wyoming). This is a full-suppression fire and the objective is 100% containment. The top priority for the Incident Management Team is the safety of fire personnel and the public. The Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Hoopa Fire Department, Hoopa, California.

    Our objective is to keep the fire East of Highway 96, west of the Reservation boundary, north of Mill Creek and south of Deerhorn Creek. Resources are being ordered to assist with the suppression of the fire. Currently we are in a National Preparedness Level 5, mobilization of fire resources is heavily committed to numerous large fires throughout the country.

    California State Highway 96 is closed from Bull Creek to Mill Creek due to fire behavior. Traffic is being redirected through Dowd Road. This is for the safety of the public as well as for crews and aerial resources working on the fire.

    • I think that someone with intelligence should put their heads together and create retardant and/or water bombs and blast these dang fires instead of dropping it, doesn’t seem to do very good and is to dang slow. I’ve seen evidence from oil fires that suggest that these could be a possibility to use for forest fires. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_well_fire

  • MODIS live heat map on Google Earth. While this is not an accurate depiction of the current fire perimeter, it does hypothetically help to indicate the MOST ACTIVE areas of the fire perimeter. To download the latest MODIS Google Earth KML file go here: https://fsapps.nwcg.gov/afm/data/kml/conus_latest_modis.kml

    When you want to refresh the heat map for the most recent update:
    *Open the Google Earth application
    *Click the three horizontal lines found in the toolbox on the upper left side of the map and select “my places”
    *Delete the old file map from here EVERY TIME you want to download a newly refreshed map
    *Download the most recent heat map from the link above

  • Will the person or persons that set these fires please step forward and claim your prize. Our community would like to meet you and so we can claim the $10,000 reward. Not funny, I know you are getting tired of keeping your mouth/mouths shut and have to tell somebody. You think nobody will find out? The best you can hope for is jail time. Our community don’t put up with this reckless behavior. [edit]

    • Arson has been common in that area for many years for many reasons. At least one Masters Thesis has been written on why arson is so prevalent there. It’s a complex and involved situation with no solution on the horizon yet. Cal Fire did reduce new starts there by much when they used Hoopa as a training ground for new Wildfire Investigators a few years ago….but the State cut money for that program and the arson levels returned to normal for that area…

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