Hwy 299 Will Again Be Open for Only Brief Periods Tuesday


Hwy 299 during the Helena Fire

Hwy 299 during the Helena Fire. [Photo from Caltrans District 2’s Facebook]

Facebook post from Caltrans:

Caltrans District 2, in coordination with the California Highway Patrol, United States Forest Service Incident Management Team 3, Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, and Trinity County Department of Transportation anticipate the following highway openings tomorrow, September 5, 2017 on State Route 299W in the area of the Helena Fire:


· 5:30 a.m.
· 9 a.m.
· 12 p.m.
· 3 p.m.
· 5:30 p.m.
· 9:30 p.m.


Eastbound and westbound traffic IN LINE at these times will be allowed through the area under traffic control, depending on fire activity and operations. Motorists are also asked not to stage in the area early. Please arrive at the highway closure areas within 15 – 20 minutes of the scheduled opening times. Traffic arriving in these areas too far in advance will be turned around and directed to find another place to wait.


· These openings are for THROUGH TRAFFIC ONLY. All areas under evacuation orders remain closed. Following the 9:30 p.m. anticipated opening, the highway will be closed overnight.

· The highway is subject to closure AT ANY TIME due to fire conditions. Travelers are urged to drive slowly and carefully through the area. Visibility may be decreased due to smoke and fire crews and equipment will be present in the area.

STATE ROUTE 36W ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 (for motorists planning to use as alternate route):

· Highway closures on realignment project on SR 36, west of Dinsmore, anticipated to begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning (9/5/17). Anticipated highway closure times: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and again between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Through traffic will be allowed through the area between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Officials will monitor traffic flows on SR 36W due to intermittent highway openings planned for SR 299W.

State Route 299W has been closed between Junction City and Big Flat since the Helena Fire began on the evening on August 30. The fire is currently at 8,940 acres, with 14% containment, per the fire briefing this morning.

Agencies will continue to monitor the situation, and provide updates when they are available.



  • How about Wednesday the 6th. Will there still be closings?

    • The question really is “Will there be openings?”, since it is all but guaranteed there will be mostly a closed road to any traffic other than firefighting/law enforcement. One of the concerns I’ve heard expressed out in this area is that the wooden underpinnings on the river side of the highway have burned, undermining the stability of that lane at many locations. I imagine that the firefighters are avoiding that side, especially with their heavier vehicles. Also, because the fire has destabilized whole upper hillsides, rocks are falling onto the road with far greater frequency than usual.

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