[UPDATE 10:18 a.m.: Due to Fire Activity, 96 Will Not Open at Noon Today] Mill Creek Fire Nearing 3000 Acres

Mill Creek Fire [Photo taken August 23 by a reader]

Mill Creek Fire [Photo taken August 23 by a reader]

Press release:

Mill Creek 1 Fire Update

Contact Fire Information: 530-618-2844 Hours: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

August 24, 2018

Date of Detection: August 16, 2018

Current Size: 2,921 acres

Location: Mill Creek North of Hoopa California, Hoopa Indian Reservation

Legal Description: Latitude: 41ᵒ 8’ 24” Longitude: 123ᵒ 39’ 36”

Cause: Arson

Containment: 42%

Resources on Fire: There are currently 370 personnel on this incident

 

CREWS

TYPE 1 HELICOPTERS (HEAVY)

TYPE 2 HELICOPTERS (MEDIUM)

TYPE 3 HELICOPTERS

(LIGHT)

ENGINES

DOZERS

7

1

1

1

17

6

FIRE UPDATE: Air quality in Hoopa Valley continues to be poor. Air quality measurements measured Unhealthy (Red) to very Unhealthy (purple). These levels affect not only smoke sensitive people but also the rest of the population. Unhealthy or worse air quality is expected to continue until the Mill Creek 1 Fire stops actively growing. Peak impacts occur around midday when the air has been as high as Hazardous for a number of hours. You can find a detailed description of the Air Quality Index at this site: wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/HoopaValley-EurekaArea .

HIGHWAY 96: 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. However, if fire conditions permit, and it is safe to do so, an opportunity for the public to drive Highway 96, through the Mill Creek 1 Fire Road Closure has been established. Interagency co-operators are going to provide three openings daily, one in each direction at the designated time. Timeframes: 7:00 a.m. 12:00 (noon) and 6:00 p.m. A pilot car will escort travelers through the fire area. Please, be on time or you will miss the opportunity. Public safety is our priority. If there is an increase in fire activity or a possibility of falling / rolling debris dangers, travel through may be delayed or cancelled. As soon as it is safe for public travel the highway will be reopened.

OPERATIONS: Today on the fire, firefighters will continue to patrol and secure the southern flank and the Highway 96 corridor. Crews will construct direct fireline and conduct firing operations on the northeast corner of the fire to prevent further spread east of Mill Creek Road. Resources will continue to mop-up and secure completed line as conditions allow. Crews will prepare for future firing operations that will allow containment of the fire south of Deerhorn Road. A priority on the northeast flank is to prevent further impacts to the timber management areas.

Attention – The Mill Creek 1 Fire was caused by arson on Tribal lands near Hoopa, California. There is a $10,000 reward offered for information regarding the fire. Calls will be taken on an anonymous hotline by calling 1-800-468-4402.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Get the latest fire updates on the Hoopa Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/HoopaOES/ or check fire updates for Mill Creek 1, and throughout the country on Inciweb at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6161/

Mill Creek Fire August 24.

Mill Creek Fire August 24. To see more detail use zoom or click to download a pdf version of the map.

UPDATE 10:18 a.m.: Press release: “Due to the Mill Creek 1 fire, highway 96 has been closed. Yesterday the decision was made to open three times (7am, 12pm, and 6pm) to allow one trip north and one trip south, with a pilot car. Due to fire activity today, the decision was made to not open at noon.”

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8 comments

  • Ten thousand is a lot of money.. hopefully some one turns in the firebug(s).. this happens almost every year around the Rez and it’d be really nice to catch this person. Traditional fire wasn’t lit in mid summer so u can’t use that excuse… this is bad for the elders, the youngsters, and everyone else, as well as everyone’s pocketbooks. I’m sure someone knows something, and I’m sure they could use 10k dollars.

  • Thank you for the update. This hoopa fire has been rather difficult to get updates on. Thank you again

  • There have been numerous arson sets near Weitchpec all my life. A nebulous “Weitchpec Flame” was blamed. My first time as a firefighter was when I was 18 in 1971; worked the timber crew for the USFS in Orleans but everyone physically able and of age was “red carded”. They set me off along the road on a turnout on Route 169 where there was a dump and wild pigs nesting in the dump. I had a “piss pump” , shovel, and Pulaski. They said to watch the dump specifically for any spots above the road. I mostly watched the pigs and they watched me. Later someone else was the night crew.

    The Mill Fire is different because in was wet on the mountain and not along 169 or 96. Lots of fuel and rugged terrain, a mix of older timber, less than 50 year old clear cut plantations, and, especially along 96 as one drops to River steep and rocky ground with isolated hollows of heavy timber.

    The Tribes (and adjacent 6RNF) do a minor amount of vegetation management and hope to do more. Major creation of shaded fuel breaks along roads and ridges and thinning the plantations would be helpful for suppression and in some cases also foster cultural plants. Access would be better and potential stop points be in place should fires go landscape. Costs $$$ but so does modern fire suppression. Logging and commercial use where feasible could defray the costs ad remove fuels. Such industry does not need to be (nor should be) of the form, method, nor of the scale of past industrial logging.

    This is my 1st post ever at RHBB. Your work on this fire along with the Carr and Mendocino Fires is excellent and I have been on your site nearly every day for weeks. Your content is great coverage of Humboldt county news.

    I have been telling friends in Weitchpec without internet current fire status based upon your RHBB and links you provide. Easily the best source of info. You deserve a journalistic prize for your work on the Carr and Mendocino Fires.

  • I second that comment about this website. RHBB consistently delivers the best news content for Humboldt county. Thanks Ms Kemp.

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