[UPDATE 4:37 p.m.] Hwy 96 Closed as Mill Creek Fire Grows (Alternate Route Available)

Mill Creek Fire advancing on Hwy 96 below the smoke.

Mill Creek Fire advancing on Hwy 96, a thin line cut into the mountain below the smoke. [Photo provided by a reader]

The Mill Creek Fire is now pushing west towards Hwy 96 so it has been closed, according to Manuel Mattz, public information officer for the Hoopa Tribe. Mattz said that there is an alternate route through Dowd Road (according to Google Maps this would include traveling through Nixon Road/Pine Creek Road currently.)

However, Caltrans will not promote a detour on a county road and will likely close Hwy 96 at both ends, according to the CHP Traffic Information Page.

As of 11 a.m., the fire covered over 1000 acres and is expected to have continued to grow. However, no evacuation orders have been issued and no structures have been damaged.

A press release issued around 1 p.m. states,

Current assigned resources include nine engines, three dozers, one helicopter, and numerous support, field, and medical staff. Our total assigned personnel amounts to roughly 160 on the Mill Creek 1 Fire.

The Type 2 Incident Management Command Great Basin Team 6 is en route to the Hoopa Valley Reservation. They will assume command of the Mill Creek 1 Fire at 0600, tomorrow Monday morning. Additional resources are also on their way to supplement our crews and equipment. Engines from Arizona, Florida, and Idaho are all converging to the Hoopa Valley Reservation to assist in firefighting efforts. We are also continuing to secure more resources to help us contain the Mill Creek 1 Fire.

For more information, please call the Hoopa Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services main line at 530-625-4366. In addition, information is relayed to the Two Rivers Tribune, the KIDE radio station, local sandwich boards, the Hoopa Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services Facebook page, and various crucial news outlets.

UPDATE 4:37 p.m.: Below is a press release issued by the Hoopa Tribe at 4:37 p.m.:

Due to Hwy 96 Bull Creek to Hwy 96 Mill Creek fully closing today, north of Hoopa, we would like to announce that Dowd Road is an alternate route for traffic and currently has no restrictions on it. We anticipate the Mill Creek 1 Fire expanding towards Highway 96 later this evening. Therefore, we advise people to take alternative routes, if possible.

No evacuation orders are currently in effect nor are there any structural damage caused by the Mill Creek 1 Fire at this time. Road closures continue on Big Hill, Mill Creek, and Deer Horn.

For more information, please call the Hoopa Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services main line at 530-625-4366. In addition, information is relayed to the Two Rivers Tribune, the KIDE radio station, local sandwich boards, the Hoopa Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services Facebook page, and various crucial news outlets.

 

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21 comments

  • Only one chopper? No bombers?
    Does this indicate that the resources are tapped out or is it a reflection of politics between the Tribes and the State agencies?
    Either way it will be on State land soon enough at this rate. Where is the air support?

    • There were at least two tankers on it and one large air tanker that I saw dropping on it yesterday afternoon. Even if they aren’t officially assigned, air attack can call for a divert from other fires if needed. As of now though, this fire is just about the least of concern.

      • Nice to know bombers were assigned, however briefly. I’d say this one might rate more…
        Perhaps tomorrow.

      • WTF do you mean least of your concerns it’s a mile from my house. That is a thoughtless statement. [edit]

  • Dowd Road is a one lane dirt road, just FYI.

  • The face book feeds I have read stress that Dowd Road is in good condition for passenger vehicles and cautioning folks to drive slow and be alert. And that it is not a good alternate for semi trucks, buses or recreational vehicles. Closing the road is really bothersome for the folks who commute to work to Weitchpec and Orkeans, as well as those who commute from Weitchpec and Orkeans to Hoopa and Willow Creek. As well as residents neededing to get to doctor appointments and school. I hope they do not close the road unless it is in danger from the fire.

    • School starts here on August 27th. Hopefully the Fire is contained by then. The Dowd road definitely isn’t feasible for larger vehicles.

  • What mile marker is 96 closed at?

  • Blue haired Hill Billy

    Long ways from the highway, just a tactic to grow the fire?

    • Portions of the fire were about a half mile east of 96 and directly upslope as of yesterday afternoon. Closing the highway is absolutely the right call at this point.

      • Blue haired Hill Billy

        I don’t agree, having lived in this country most of my life,this closing of major highways is new. People need to get to work,go to school, go get groceries. Let folks use common sense if it’s dangerous to travel they won’t go.

        • Common sense is no longer common.

          • Its worse than that. People are just plain stupid. Its not necessarily their fault. Its partly the fault of our culture. No one seems to care about critical thinking, you know, using your brain.

  • They’re just looking ATM.

  • Bluehaired Hillbetty

    Highway 96 is still closed, 6:45 Monday morning.

  • Is Bald Hill still open from the coast?

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