By Ruth Schneider | (Eureka) Times-Standard
A dozen new fires started between Friday night and Saturday morning in the Six Rivers National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service reported Saturday.
The fires have spurred evacuations around Willow Creek. Around 150 people live in the areas where evacuations are ordered, according to Samantha Karges, a spokesperson for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.
An evacuation center is set up at Trinity Valley Elementary School that is being run by the Red Cross, Karges said, noting last she heard there were four people utilizing the center.
“I know that the last time we did evacuations last year it wasn’t heavily utilized either, but that part of the community has a good support network to rely on and they don’t typically utilize shelters, but of course, there’s one established,” she said.
The evacuation center offers restrooms, overnight indoor sleeping arrangements, and food, Karges said, noting that the county is still working to establish a shelter for animals.
She added that she has heard from some residents who were hesitant to evacuate overnight.
“I got some questions (Friday) night from residents under evacuation orders who (say), ‘It looks like it’s getting better. Why am I being asked to evacuate?’ ” Karges said. “And it’s just because a lot of those fires are in very inaccessible areas. … They could burn through a gulch and make it to a home. So that’s why we’re asking people to leave those certain areas for a reason.”
According to the Six Rivers Facebook page, “Two (of the fires) are now out.”
“We have responded to all and have called in as much support as we can get,” the post adds.
Among that support is Cal Fire Humboldt-Del Norte Unit, which according to Cal Fire spokesman Jeremy Ward includes “support with equipment (and) personnel.”
Karges said that was critical to keeping the fires contained.
“(Cal Fire’s assistance) going to be very helpful to have some more bodies on the ground,” Karges said. “A lot of these fires from what I’ve been told are in very steep terrain and dry conditions.”
She noted that the winter storms that knocked down hundreds of trees left the terrain more susceptible to wildfires.
“That’s another concern — all of the dead trees and things that fell from those storms,” Karges said. “It’s definitely complicating the issue.”
As of Saturday morning, all of the fires were approximately 200 acres or fewer.
The 10 fires
* Waterman Fire: The blaze around 75 acres. It is located northeast of Willow Creek on Waterman Ridge Road 7N02 Forest Route 4.
* Cedar Fire: It is around 80 acres in size. Hose was placed around the fire and multiple resources are on the scene including engines, a water tender, and a hot shot crew. Additional resources are en route. The Cedar Fire is located close to the Waterman Fire.
* Bremer Fire: It is 15 acres in size and has four engines and one hot shot crew on the scene. The fire is located northeast of Willow Creek on a ridgetop above the Bigfoot subdivision.
* Campbell Fire: The blaze is around 100 acres and is located south of Willow Creek on the west side of Campbell Ridge above Campbell Ridge Road. Mad River hot shots are on the scene.
* Friday Fire: The wildfire is located south of Willow Creek, half of a mile up Friday Ridge Road from state Route 299.
* Oak Fire: At 200 acres, this is the largest of the Six Rivers blazes. The fire is located south of Willow Creek near FS Road 5N31 and 6N20.
* Charlie Fire: Contained. Hose is placed with hand line around the fire. It is located south of Willow Creek near the Oak Fire and along FS Road 6N20.
* Prairie: Contained. This fire is within Cal Fire’s jurisdiction and located east of Maple Creek, near Rooster Rock and Snow Camp Mountain. Cal Fire stopped the forward progress of the Prairie Fire.
The following roads are closed except for use by residents evacuating:
* Horse Linto Creek Road at Saddle Lane
* Seeley McIntosh Road at Country Club Road
* Friday Ridge Road at Sandy Bar
The North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District said Saturday the McKinney Fire and the Yeti Fire in Siskiyou County are causing some slight impacts to air quality.
The majority of Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity counties have good air quality. Hoopa and Orleans could see moderate conditions during the day and potentially unsafe for sensitive groups conditions overnight.
Evacuation zone information: Go to https://community.zonehaven.com/.
Caltrans information on state Route 299 access: Go to http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/.
Crashes and Disasters |
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East Bay firefighters contain three-alarm vegetation fire
Firefighters begin to rack up containment on 58,600-acre McKinney Fire
Climate Migration: Wildfire pushes Northern California family to Vermont
Latest information from Six Rivers National Forest: Go to https://www.facebook.com/SixRiversNF/
To make donations: Contact Pay it Forward Humboldt at 707-499-2364 or email [email protected]
Ruth Schneider can be reached at 707-441-0520.
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