Mill Creek Fire 100% Contained

Mill Creek Fire advancing on Hwy 96 below the smoke.

Mill Creek Fire advancing on Hwy 96 in August. [Photo provided by a reader]

Press release:

Mill Creek 1 Fire Update

September 1, 2018

Date of Detection: August 16, 2018

Current Size: 3,674 acres

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

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

Cause: Arson

Containment: 100%

Resources on Fire: There are currently 93 personnel on this incident

Cost of the fire to date: $6,907,640

FIRE UPDATE – On Friday August 31st at 6:00 a.m., the fire was transferred back to the management of the Hoopa Fire Department. The Hoopa Fire Department is a local Type 3 organization led by Incident Commander Rod Mendes. Due to successful firefighting efforts, many resources and firefighters were sent home or to their next assignment. There are 93 personnel on the fire. The fire is 100% contained, but not fully controlled as it continues to burn in the interior of containment lines.

OPERATIONS: When deemed safe, resources continue to check for hot spots in the interior of the fire. Several small smokes still exists within the fire’s interior. Smoke will still be visible coming from the fire until there is a significant weather event. Until that time, fire may appear randomly during the day or night within the fire interior. This is normal, as fire will continue to burn. There is no need for you to call 911 unless there is a new emergency or fire in another area.

Crews are presently working to remove hazardous snags that could fall into the roadway or pose a danger to firefighters. Most of the snagging work is being done along the Mill Creek and Norton Creek Roads. Many trees in the fire area have compromised root systems and are falling on their own, but those standing need to be felled for improved safety. Also, there are compromised road beds that pose a danger to traffic. A hard closure of Mill Creek and Norton Creek Road is still in place. Civilian traffic on these roads will not be allowed until we feel they can be safely traveled by non-fire personnel.

With hot weather expected in the coming days, there is potential for reburn within the interior of the fire. Firefighters will continue to maintain any fire that’s burning within the established control lines.

A Burn Area Emergency Rehab team is currently working on the fire to assess damage caused by fire suppression efforts. This assessment, by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, will assist the tribe with an outline of repairs that will need completion in the coming months and years as a result of the fire, such as repairs of culverts, roads, erosion and reforestation plantations.

HIGHWAY 96 is currently open to the public. Firefighters are still working in the area and along the roadway. We would appreciate motorists to use caution when travelling through the section of Highway 96 affected by the Mill Creek 1 fire.

Air Quality: For a current Air Quality Forecast you can get your update by going to: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/NWCalifornia

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.

Further updates on the Mill Creek 1 Fire can be found by following Hoopa Valley Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/HoopaOES/

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