© 2020 | Jefferson Public Radio
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Wildfire

Steady Progress Being Made On The Red Salmon Complex In Trinity Alps

Red Salmon fire inciweb.jpeg
inciweb.nwcg.gov
Aug 8 sunset, looking SW into the Red Salmon fire in the Trinity Alps Wilderness in Northern California

Fire crews continue to battle the Red Fire and the Salmon Fire — known together as the Red Salmon Complex — in the Trinity Alps Wilderness on the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forests.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 15, 10:00 a.m. ...

Current Situation:

Size: 91,743 Acres

Contained: 18%

Fire continues to spot in the northeast portion of the Red Salmon Complex. The source is active fire in the drainages of Knownothing Creek and Poverty Gulch Creek. Crews have hoselays, sprinklers, and other structure protection measures in place. Containment efforts are focused on preventing fire spread north toward Salmon River Road (Hwy 93).

In the southwest corner of the complex, 1,000 to 1,500 feet of line remains to be tied in with established, burned-off line on the western flank of the fire. Dozer line along Hostler Ridge to Tish Tang Ridge will serve as the primary line for tactical firing operations to contain the fire east of the Hoopa Reservation boundary.

Hunters, visitors, and others should be aware the closure of all National Forests in California has been extended until September 21st. Entry is not permitted. Should the statewide closure expire, the area closures on the Klamath, Six Rivers, and Shasta-Trinity National Forests remain in effect until further notice.

Weather:

Clearer air is anticipated today, though areas of smoke will remain across the area, particularly in valleys. Temperatures in the 70s to low 80s are expected, with humidity similar to Monday.

Air Quality:

Smoke from the Red Salmon Complex will combine with smoke from other fires in the area which could keep the levels in the Unhealthy to Hazardous AQI range, depending on proximity to the fires.

Area Evacuations:

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office has issued an Evacuation Order for ALL of Forks of Salmon. From Butler Flat to 10 miles east to Forks of Salmon and south to Plummer Creek on Cecilville Rd.

National Forest Closure Areas:

The US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region has issued an Emergency Closure Order of all National Forests in Region 5 (California) pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 551 and 36 C.F.R. 261.50(a) and (b), of Regional Order No. 20-10 to provide for public safety and protect natural resources. The Red Salmon Fire Forest Closure Area became effective on August 8, 2020 under Forest Supervisor’s orders on the Klamath, Shasta-Trinity, and Six Rivers National Forests. As hunting seasons open, hunters are reminded the closure is in place for their safety as well as the safety of firefighters. Complete closure information is available on InciWeb for the Red Salmon Complex.

UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 14, 4:00 p.m. ...

A spot fire Sunday in the northeast portion of the Red Salmon Complex required crews to reposition and prompted an evacuation order for Forks of Salmon. Ash and embers were rising from a spot fire on the north side of Knownothing Creek. Personnel could hear fire below but not see it through the blanket of smoke over the complex. The spot remains a threat and crews will adjust lines and conduct burnout operations to slow the fire’s progression and prevent it from spreading further north.

The steady progress of the last few days continued yesterday on the west and south flanks of the fire. Backing fire from burnout operations has added 600 to 1,000 feet of depth downslope of control lines. Wind conditions prevented burnout operations overnight, though mop up and patrol were accomplished. Tactical firing operations are planned in the southwest today, extending efforts to prevent fire spread toward the Hoopa Reservation, Willow Creek, and communities along Hwy 299.

Additional lines continue to be built and scouted, while community and structure protection in and around Denny and Forks of Salmon remains in place. Areas on the fire’s east flank and away from communities remain unstaffed due to remoteness and resource limitations.

The complex has burned 91,682 acres and is 16 percent contained.

Red Salmon map 9-14.JPG
US Forest Service
A map of the Red Salmon Fire Complex, as of Sept. 14

Weather:

Areas of smoke will blanket the fire today. Winds should remain terrain driven at lower elevations, with southerly gusts at times on ridges and in aligned drainages.

Air Quality:

Smoke from the Red Salmon Complex will combine with other fires in the area which could keep the levels in the Very Unhealthy and Hazardous AQI range, depending on proximity to the fires.

Area Evacuations:

The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office lifted the Evacuation Warning for Denny.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office has issued an Evacuation Order for ALL of Forks of Salmon. From Butler Flat to 10 miles east to Forks of Salmon and south to Plummer Creek on Cecilville Rd.

National Forest Closure Areas:

The US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region has issued an Emergency Closure Order of all National Forests in Region 5 (California) pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 551 and 36 C.F.R. 261.50(a) and (b), of Regional Order No. 20-10 to provide for public safety and protect natural resources. The Red Salmon Fire Forest Closure Area became effective on August 8, 2020 under Forest Supervisor’s orders on the Klamath, Shasta-Trinity, and Six Rivers National Forests. As hunting seasons open, hunters are reminded the closure is in place for their safety as well as the safety of firefighters. Complete closure information is available on InciWeb for the Red Salmon Complex.

For more information - https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6891/

UPDATE: Monday, Aug. 24, 10:00 a.m. ... The Red Salmon Complex is currently at 19,365 acres is 41% contained.

Current Situation: Last night, crews made slow progress with the tactical firing operation along High Point Ridge, due to higher humidity’s, however there were no issues with holding the line. Today, there is a Red Flag warning for dry lightning and potential thunderstorms. These can create variable winds, producing gusty outflow winds, which may affect the pace of firing efforts.

Red Fire: The number one priority on the fire continues in maintaining the footprint of the Red Cap section in the north west area of the fire, crews will continue to monitor, patrol and mop-up hot spots. Today’s firing objectives include keeping the Red and Salmon Fires east of Packsaddle Ridge, west of High Point Ridge, north of the Soldier Creek Trail and south of Lunch Creek to Salmon Summit Trail to Red Cap Peak. With the Red Flag warning in effect, crews will remain alert as they concentrate on the strategic firing operation along High Point Ridge. Crews may also initiate firing operations today at the intersection of Pack Saddle Ridge and Horse Trail on the western edge as well as the eastern edge, to keep fire even with the southern edge of the fire as it advances.

Salmon Fire: This fire remains within its current footprint. Islands of vegetation inside this area, will continue to burn. These are not threatening containment lines.

The Red and Salmon Fires are burning on the Klamath, Six Rivers, and Shasta-Trinity National Forests. California Interagency Incident Management Team 4 is working closely with the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the Yurok and Karuk Tribes and the Community Liaison for Forks of Salmon.

Weather: A red flag warning is in effect for today and tonight, there is a 35% chance of thunderstorms through the afternoon with potential for dry lightning and outflow winds and bands of showers. Relative humidity is predicted to be 35-40% across the fire throughout the day, however, depending on location, these values may fluctuate. Light east/west winds will shift to west in the late afternoon at about 5-10 mph. Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 80’s.

Air Quality: Smoke, including smoke from neighboring fires, will continue to become more prominent each day around Highway 96 due to southerly winds. Refer to fires.airfire.org/outlooks/NWCalifornia.

Closures: The Red Salmon Fire Forest Closure became effective on August 8, 2020. As hunting seasons open, hunters are reminded the closure is in place for their safety as well as the safety of firefighters. The full Forest Closure Order can be found on Inciweb. inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6891

UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 20, 10:00 a.m. ... The Red Salmon Complex is currently at 16,255 acres and is 38% contained.

Current Situation: MIST (Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics) are being used in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area. California Interagency Incident Management Team 4 continues to work closely with Native American Tribes in all fire suppression efforts. In addition, a series of video meetings with tribal leaders will occur throughout the week.

Red Fire: Last night the fire held along lines in a priority area, the northeast corner of the fire. Firefighters working here today will begin mop-up operations. This involves extinguishing all remaining flames, making sure no fuel has the potential to cross the fire line, and generally cooling all areas adjacent to the line.

Today crews will initiate tactical firing operations adjacent to containment lines, effectively widening and strengthening them. This activity will occur along Highpoint Ridge. The operation will proceed very deliberately, keeping pace with the fire as it advances.

The same tactic using this deliberate approach, keeping pace with the fire is also planned along containment lines south of the Red Fire on Horse Trail Ridge and Devils Backbone. Fire crews working closely with resource advisors protecting cultural and natural resources are cutting new fire line, south on Horse Trail Ridge to Soldier Trail.

Salmon Fire: Internal islands within containment lines will continue to burn. These are not threatening containment lines.

Weather: Temperatures over the fire today will make it into the mid to high 80’s, with high 70’s at higher elevations. Winds will be light from a westerly direction at 5 to 7 mph. Relative humidity will increase by afternoon to 35 percent. High clouds will move over the fire this afternoon.

Air Quality: Westerly winds will move smoke to the east or northeast today. Smoke may be thick in valleys and canyons immediately east of the fire. Refer to fires.airfire.org/outlooks/NWCalifornia.

Closures: The Red Salmon Fire Forest Closure became effective on August 8, 2020. As hunting seasons open, hunters are reminded the closure is in place for their safety as well as the safety of firefighters. The full Forest Closure Order can be found on Inciweb. inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6891

UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 14, 4:00 p.m. ... The Red Salmon Complex is currently at 10,206 acres and 34% contained. The the Red and the Salmon fires are being managed for full suppression utilizing Minimum Impact Suppression Techniques (MIST) in the wilderness and working with resource advisors to protect cultural values.

Red Fire: The fire is 9,399 acres and 19% contained. Thursday night we saw cooling on the north edge of the fire. Activity may increase today as the inversion layer over the fire weakens due to an increase in temperature and drop in humidity. Surface fire may spread with short runs as it aligns with terrain and fuels. Most activity will be seen in the Red Cap drainage.

Firing operations continue today on the northwest and west flanks to Black Mountain and continue west to the South Fork of Red Cap Creek and from 9N31 Road to Mill Creek Gap. These firing operations are increasing depth along indirect containment lines. The east flank of the fire is holding and firing operations from earlier in the week continue to back toward the main fire.

The fire near Prospect Peak on the Klamath National Forest is about 1.5 miles from the east flank of the Red Fire. Considerable growth occurred overnight due to an inversion layer and is now approximately 60 acres. Crews will go direct today with aerial support as smoke conditions improve.

Salmon Fire: The fire is 807 acres, 79% contained and holding within containment lines. Interior pockets of unburned fuels will continue to be consumed. Firefighters are prepping indirect lines from Salmon Mountain down to Devils Backbone to begin firing operations in the next couple of days.

Weather: Warmer and dryer weather is expected throughout the day with a weak inversion layer continuing over the area. There is a possibility of the inversion layer lifting later today as temperatures increase.

Air quality: Smoke impacts continue to be in the unhealthy level in areas close to the fire. Smoke impacts could rise to unhealthy late in the day before improving in the overnight and morning hours. Refer to fires.airfire.org/outlooks/NWCalifornia.

UPDATE: Wednesday, Aug. 12, 6:00 a.m. ... The Red Salmon Complex is 8,024 acres and 35% contained. The Red and Salmon fires are burning in the Trinity Alps Wilderness on the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forests. Both fires are being managed for full suppression. The reduction in acreage is because the Jones Point Fire has transitioned back to the Hoopa Valley Tribe. It is 137 acres and 91% contained.

Red Fire: The fire is 7,257 acres and 19% contained. Crews brought fire along the western edge of the Red Fire heading toward Mill Creek Gap. This fire eventually will connect on the northern perimeter near the South Fork of Red Cap Creek and Black Mountain. From the North Fork of Mill Creek, crews are firing south along Pack Saddle Ridge. Previous firing operations are connecting to the main body of the fire providing greater security for containment lines.

Salmon Fire: This fire is 767 acres and 89% contained. There is containment line all the way around the fire. All firing operations along containment lines are holding and backing downhill. Mop-up and patrol operations will be continued around the fire.

Air quality: Heavy low-level smoke continues to drain into valley bottoms near the fire area and along the Bigfoot Highway affecting Orleans, Weitchpec, Hoopa and other communities in this region. These areas are expected to see periods of Unhealthy air quality with improving conditions late in the day. An air resource advisor is providing daily smoke forecasts and air quality information. Refer to fires.airfire.org/outlooks/NWCalifornia.

ORIGINAL POST: Monday, Aug. 10, 3;45 p.m. ... The fires, and accompanying weather conditions, have led air quality officials to issue an advisory through Tuesday in the Hoopa and Orleans areas.

The North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District expects Air Quality Index readings in the Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy range.

The fires were discovered on July 27. They are believed to have been caused by lightning.

As of noon Monday, the Red Salmon Complex had burned 7,031 acres and was 30 percent contained.

All National Forest System roads within the Red-Salmon Fire Complex Closure Area are closed as well as: Forest Road Nos. 07N53 (Grizzly Camp), 07N15 (Fawn Ridge), 10N05 (Upper Leary Creek), 10N01 (Trinity Summit), and 07N10 (Lone Pine Ridge). All National Forest System trails within the Red-Salmon Fire Complex Closure Area are closed as well as: Forest Trail Nos. 6E04 (Orleans Mt Trail), 5438 (Nordheimer), 12W08 (East Fork New River), and 12W02 (Salmon Summit). Big Rock River Access.

The fires are in the vicinity of the Yurok and Hoopa Valley tribal reservations. No evacuations have been ordered.