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Wildfire

Progress Continues on The Slater And Devil Fires, Evacuation Levels Reduced

vela smoke from happy camp.jpg
Jasen Vela
/
Mt. Shasta News
Smoke billows from the Slater Fire from the U.S. Forest Service's Ranger Station in Happy Camp at about 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.

The Slater Fire is 148,583 acres and 18 percent contained. The Devil Fire is also 18 percent contained and 7,458 acres. The Josephine County Sheriff’s office removed the Level 1 “Be Ready” evacuation order for the Selma area, and downgraded notices for the Cave Junction area from Level 2 to Level 1.

UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 21, 10:00 a.m. ....

Slater Fire:

North Zone

Crews have been building containment and contingency lines along Highway 199 to protect Gasquet. They have been building defensible indirect lines, in case the fire tries spreading toward Gasquet.

The team is staying as close to the fire as they can to keep the fire from growing, especially along Knopki Road. Some areas from Knopki Road to the east are inaccessible for building control lines along the fire.

Firefighters will also use controlled fire to remove excess fuel. Next crews will extinguish heat along the perimeter using water and hand tools, known as mopping up. They continue widening the heat-free zones along the fire’s edge until the team is confident that the fire will not spread.

West of Highway 199 crews have been working for three days building indirect control lines. Those lines run from Highway 199 then along Monkey Ridge and back around the top of the fire to Highway 199. When crews become available, they will improve those indirect lines and make them direct control lines using controlled fire. If crews can build a direct line there, it could save about 3,000 forested acres.

Firefighters are digging line all along the north side, south of Cave Junction, Takilma, Sun Star, and over to Browntown. Today's scouting reports showed that the team will need to burnout much less than originally expected east of Takilma.

The fire's north most point has crews building direct control line. Fire managers are optimistic about the work there. The northeast section, south of Oregon Caves has indirect lines built to protect the monument.

South Zone

The Slater Fire continues to back downslope into the Thompson Creek drainage. It has stayed on the west side of Thompson Creek, and crews are working to contain it along the road system there.

The rest of the Slater Fire South Zone has largely transitioned to mop-up and patrol status. Some evacuations were lowered today; the EVACUATION WARNING has been lifted for Happy Camp proper, Elk Creek area, and Seiad proper. This does not include Indian Creek Road or Indian Creek Meadows. All roads in the evacuated area are remain closed.

Devil Fire: On the Devil fire, crews are building direct line on the north side to the west. They plan on connecting those lines into the areas that have already been burned. On the south end engines will continue to patrol and mop-up along Highway 96. Focus of effort and resources is primarily on clearing hazard trees up the Grayback Road in the interior of the fire area.

Crews continued working to stay ahead of the Devil Fire, as it backs slowly into Goff Creek. Residences in the area have been well protected.

With so much cold line around the southern perimeter of the Slater Fire, fire managers have been able to shift resources from the south zone to previously unstaffed areas on the fire to the north.

Incident Statistics
Size: 148,583 (Slater)
7,458 (Devil)
Containment 18 % (both)
Injuries: 0
Fatalities:0

UPDATE: Saturday, Sept. 19, 10:45 a.m. ...

U.S. 199 (Redwood Highway) is open again south of Cave Junction through to U.S. 101 and Crescent City.

The area remains an active fire zone with crews on the side of the road. Prepare for possible delay depending on fire conditions. Expect future short-term delays/ closures to accommodate firefighting efforts.

Check Tripcheck.com in Oregon and Quickmap in California for latest travel updates.

Friday afternoon, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office downgraded a current Level 3 “GO” Evacuation Zone. This is the area along US Hwy 199 from Gene Brown Rd to 37265 Redwood Hwy. This includes Gene Brown Rd, Arrowhead Dr, and Leuizenger Ck/NF-9938 Rd to a Level 2 “BE SET”. Addresses greater than 37265 Redwood Hwy will remain in a Level 3 “GO” evacuation status.

This decision is based on current forecasted weather models and successful firefighting operations. As a reminder, if weather and/or fire behavior changes in the future the evacuation level could be elevated again to Level 3 “GO”. For residents in this area if you have not done so, please sign up for Citizen Alert at www.RVEM.org or call (541)474-5305. Citizens can also follow updates on the Slater and Devil Fires information or Josephine County Emergency Management Facebook pages.

UPDATE: Friday. Sept. 18, 6:00 a.m. ...

North Zone: (Gasquet and Oregon) Slater Fire: Operations continued to implement direct and indirect fire strategies. Work included completing dozer line from Monkey Ridge to Highway 199.

On the northern side of the fire near Shepherd Hills, crews were able to tie a small spot fire back into Forest Road 4803.

Northern Rockies Team 2 continues to work with the Oregon State Fire Marshal, Oregon Department of Forestry and other local and federal agencies to contain the north spread of the Slater Fire.

Gasquet Area: Firefighters held the fire at the Knopki Road to protect the town of Gasquet. They will work to complete operations to secure the fire edge at the intersection of Highway 199 and Knopki Road. Structure protection activity continues from Knopki Road to the town of Gasquet.

South Zone: The air finally cleared out today along the Slater Fire in the south zone, and a chance of rain is predicted for Friday or Saturday.

Crews worked Thursday on hotspots in Thompson Creek, and on both flanks of the Devil Fire.

A fire module is still camping out to construct direct fire line along the Devil fire’s eastern edge. Thursday, they completed that eastern edge and started building line along the south side of that fire.

EVACUATIONS

California: Some EVACUATION ORDERS have been lifted in Happy Camp. EVACUATION WARNINGS are still in place for most of Happy Camp including Elk Creek Road, and for Seiad along Highway 96, as well as for Gasquet, Hiouchi, and Big Flat.

Oregon: Level 3 “Go” orders are in effect in the O'Brien, and Takilma areas, Dick George Road (including most of Holland Loop) and Takilma Road areas, Brown Road, O'Brien and all areas south of Brown Road, O'Brien. EVACUATION WARNINGS are in effect for Gasquet in California, while nearby communities of Hiouchi and Big Flat are on Level 1 “Get Ready” alert. Level 2 “Get Set” orders are in effect south of Kerby and Cave Junction areas in Oregon.

MORE INFORMATION:

Community and evacuation information can be found at Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SiskiyouCountySheriff/.

For Del Norte County evacuation information, see www.facebook.com/DelNorteOfficeOfEmergencyServices or www.preparedelnorte.com/

Evacuation order/warning info and other resources for Josephine County can be found by calling Josephine County Fire Information Center 541-474-5305 (7am-10pm) or online at: www.facebook.com/josephinecountyEM , www.co.josephine.or.us/fire or www.rvem.org

ROAD CLOSURES

Highway 199 remains closed from Panther Flat (north of Gasquet) to the California/Oregon state line and from O’Brien south across the state line into California. Some other roads in Oregon are experiencing serious visibility impairments due to smoky conditions from the Slater Fire.

The Grayback Road is still closed. Highway 96 is open to one-way controlled traffic. Expect delays and use caution when traveling. Air quality is currently classified as hazardous. If you have questions, please contact the Siskiyou Emergency Operations Center at (530) 643-3662.

PUBLIC LAND CLOSURES

National Forest Closures, California: National Forests in California have been closed since September 9 and new closure orders have been issued to extend for one week. However, these orders are being assessed on a daily basis to consider cancelling. More details on these closure orders, along with fire restriction orders, can be found at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7173/

National Forest Closures, Oregon:

The Wild Rivers and Siskiyou Mountains Ranger Districts are currently closed due to extreme fire danger. These closures cover all National Forest forested areas, developed campgrounds, dispersed camping, day use areas, wilderness areas, and all forest roads and trails within those two Districts.

Bureau of Land Management Closures: As a result of extreme fire danger, the Bureau of Land Management Medford District has temporarily closed all Bureau of Land Management-administered public lands south of Grants Pass, Interstate 5, and U.S. Route 199 to the border of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Maps of the closure areas are available on the Bureau of Land Management’s website.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 17, 10:00 a.m. ...

NORTH ZONE: Near Gasquet, firelines are holding along Knopki Road, despite limited available resources there. Equipment operators are using bulldozers to establish control lines along Monkey Ridge to prevent the fire from crossing Highway 199.

Today, operations continued to implement direct and indirect fire strategies. The heavy smoke inversion lifted late afternoon yesterday over the North Zone of the Slater Fire, causing increased fire activity, but fire personnel were able to maintain control lines in and around Illinois Valley.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office has mobilized 10 task forces of structural fire engines, six from Oregon, three from Utah, and one from Washington State.

SOUTH ZONE: A low-pressure system crossed over the Slater Fire area from west to east, clearing smoke out and increasing fire activity yesterday afternoon into last night. Firefighters were able to contain several spot fires on the west side of the Thompson Creek drainage yesterday. Air quality is expected to improve around Happy Camp today, although smoke levels are predicted to remain unhealthy.

TODAY: Priorities for the Slater Fire South Zone today include preventing rolling material from crossing control lines along Highway 96 and protecting life and property in the Thompson Creek drainage, where fire is backing towards homes. Meanwhile, work continues to build direct and indirect fireline around Seiad to contain the Devil Fire, which spread to the west and northeast yesterday.

The Slater Fire has now burned an estimated 143,092 acres, while the Devil Fire is at roughly 6,907 acres, aerial heat detection flights show. The Slater Fire remains at 10 percent containment, while the Devil is still 0 percent contained.

The Fox Fire burning southwest of Callahan in the Klamath National Forest is now estimated at roughly 1,512 acres. EVACUATION ADVISORIES and ORDERS are in effect for the Callahan area due to this fire – see the Siskiyou County Sheriffs Facebook page for updated details. The Fox Fire has shown active fire behavior and produced intense heat. The Slater Fire’ South Zone is supporting suppression efforts on the Fox Fire until additional resources arrive. CALFIRE is also assisting in response to this fire. It is currently 0 percent contained.

Due to extreme fire danger, all National Forests in California closed September 9, and remain closed. More details on these closure orders, along with fire restrictions orders, can be found on National Forest websites and on InciWeb.

Due to public safety concerns associated with fire danger and fire activity, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (RRSNF) has temporarily closed the Wild Rivers Ranger District and the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District. Closure orders and maps are available on the RRSNF website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/rogue-siskiyou/alerts-notices

As a result of extreme fire danger, the Bureau of Land Management Medford District has temporarily closed all Bureau of Land Management-administered public lands south of Grants Pass, Interstate 5, and U.S. Route 199 to the border of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Maps of the closure areas are available on the Bureau of Land Management’s website: www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions.

Highway 199 remains closed from O’Brien south almost to Gasquet. Highway 96 is now open to one-way controlled traffic. Drivers traveling these sections of highway should expect delays and use caution due to increased fire traffic, poor visibility and possible falling trees or rolling material. Other highways in Oregon are also being impacted by the smoke.

EVACUATION INFORMATION:

Current evacuation orders are posted on Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SiskiyouCountySheriff/.

For Del Norte County evacuation information, see www.facebook.com/DelNorteOfficeOfEmergencyServices

www.preparedelnorte.com/

Evacuation order/warning info and other resources for Josephine County can be found by calling Josephine County Fire Information Center 541-474-5305 (7am-10pm) or online at:

www.facebook.com/josephinecountyEM, www.co.josephine.or.us/fire, or www.rvem.org

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 11:15 a.m. ...

California:
Most of the recent fire growth has occurred on the Devil Fire, north into Butte Fork drainage. The Slater Fire also spread towards the Devil Fire yesterday, where conditions are still somewhat drier than down canyon. Humidity levels overnight stayed relatively high, even on ridgetops, and forecasts say moisture will increase throughout the day today with a chance of rain over the fire area tomorrow or Friday.

Today, crews will continue to build direct fire line along the east side of the Pacific Crest Trail and prep along that trail to the south to protect the town of Seiad from the Devil Fire. Assigned resources there are planning to spike out there for several days to complete this task.

Meanwhile, indirect fire line construction immediately around Seiad continues to be improved.

Other priorities for firefighters in the south zone of the Slater Fire today include containing the fire on the right side of the road and protecting residences in Thompson Creek and Fort Goff areas. Firefighters will today aim to complete indirect line to prevent the fire from spreading south of Highway 96 between Seiad and Happy Camp where it is burning along a bench above the road. They will also use strategic firing as needed on the east slope of the Thompson Creek drainage to bring fire down to private properties “on our terms.”

Near Gasquet, firelines are holding along Knopki Road, despite limited available resources there. Firefighters are working to scout control lines along Monkey Ridge and Oregon Mountain Road to prevent the fire’s spread into communities southwest of the fire.

Oregon:
Slater Fire growth was also minimal, with backing and flanking fire behavior. Fire resources on the ground there sought opportunities to directly contain the fire in its current footprint and establish contingency lines. No structures were lost overnight on the Slater Fire. More resources are arriving to the north zone of the Slater Fire today.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office has mobilized 10 structure task forces, six from Oregon, three from Utah, and one from Washington State. Today crews will be holding the fire along the road system on the west side of the fire near the state line. In the Takilma area, dozers will continue to put in line and work direct on the north side of the fire.

Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2 assumed command of the northern zone of the Slater Fire (including areas around Gasquet in California) at 6 a.m. today. While many parts of fire management are divvied up between the two teams, information will still be disseminated via one Facebook page to avoid confusion.

A new fire start discovered by aircraft on the Klamath National Forest two days ago is burning southwest of Callahan, and is now estimated at roughly 761 acres.

EVACUATION ADVISORIES and ORDERS are in effect for Callahan area due to this fire – see the Siskiyou County Sheriffs Facebook page for updated details. The Fox Fire is active on its north edge, where reports from the field say groups of trees are torching. This fire has also moved westward past Blue Jay Ridge towards Joe Keen meadows. The south zone Slater Fire is supporting suppression efforts on the Fox Fire until additional resources arrive.

Due to extreme fire danger, all National Forests in California closed September 9, and remain closed. More details on these closure orders, along with fire restrictions orders, can be found on National Forest websites and on InciWeb.

As a result of extreme fire danger, the Bureau of Land Management Medford District has temporarily closed all Bureau of Land Management-administered public lands south of Grants Pass, Interstate 5, and U.S. Route 199 to the border of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Maps of the closure areas are available on the Bureau of Land Management’s website: https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions.

Highway 199 remains closed from O’Brien south almost to Gasquet. Highway 96 is now open to one-way controlled traffic. Drivers traveling this section of highway should expect delays and use caution due to poor visibility. Other highways in Oregon are also being impacted by the smoke.

EVACUATION INFORMATION:
· Current evacuation orders are posted on Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SiskiyouCountySheriff/.
· For Del Norte County evacuation information, see www.facebook.com/DelNorteOfficeOfEmergencyServices
www.preparedelnorte.com/
· Evacuation order/warning info and other resources for Josephine County can be found by calling Josephine County Fire Information Center 541-474-5305 (7am-10pm) or online at:
https://www.facebook.com/josephinecountyEM, https://www.co.josephine.or.us/fire, or www.rvem.org

Slater Fire - Approximately 141,403 acres, 10% contained.

Devil Fire - Approximately 6,180 acres, 0% containment, unstaffed.

Fox Fire - Approximately 761 acres, 0% containment

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 3:45 a.m. ...

The Slater Fire has burned about 137,111 acres, spreading from the Klamath National Forest and moving into the Illinois Valley. The nearby Devil Fire has burned about 5,459 acres. Containment is at 10 percent.

Oregon area: On Tuesday, Slater Fire operations were able to capitalize on another day under a heavy smoke inversion to build and strengthen direct fire line to protect structures in and around Illinois Valley. Northern Rockies Team 2 will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with local fire, state, and federal firefighting resources to fight the north area of the Slater/Devil fire. For the latest information on evacuations, please visit https://www.facebook.com/josephinecountyEM

Gasquet Area: Firefighters continued to prepare and hold the Knopki Road to protect the town of Gasquet. Firefighters began to prepare contingency lines to help control the fire’s spread south and west, after the fire got established west of Highway 199 near the state line.

Happy Camp Area: The Slater Fire moved mostly very slowly today, but did put up a column of smoke along its northeast edge. Structure protection in the Hwy 96 corridor upriver of Happy Camp continued, while a handful of firefighters built direct fire line along the eastern edge of the Devil Fire today. Mop-up continued today in Happy Camp, where firelines are secure. Most evacuation orders there have been changed to evacuation advisories, while Pacific Power was able to restore power to the town today. www.facebook.com/SiskiyouCountySheriff

Fox Fire: Klamath National Forest yesterday reported a new fire start on the Salmon Scott River Ranger District near Callahan. It’s estimated around 100 acres currently. Incident Management Team 10 will lend resources from the Slater Fire south zone.

On Tuesday evening, the northern edge of the Slater Fire was 1.9 miles southwest of the park boundary, and 2.9 miles southwest of the Oregon Caves National Historic District. Outdoor sprinkler systems on the Oregon Caves Chateau and Chalet are in place to help protect against embers or other fire threats.

As a precaution, the park’s museum collections were removed Tuesday for storage at Redwood National and State Parks.

All access to Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve remains closed due to the Slater Fire threat to southwest. Contact the Illinois Valley Visitor Center in Cave Junction for current information, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, 541-592-4076.

EVACUATIONS
California: EVACUATION ORDERS remain in effect for a few neighborhoods in Happy Camp where downed power lines and hazardous materials remain a concern. EVACUATION WARNINGS are still in place for most of Happy Camp including Elk Creek Road, and for Seiad along Highway 96, as well as for Gasquet, Hiouchi and Big Flat.

Oregon: Oregon, Level 3 “Go” orders are in effect in the O'Brien, and Takilma areas, Dick George Road (including most of Holland Loop) and Takilma Road areas, Brown Road, O'Brien and all areas south of Brown Road O'Brien. EVACUATION WARNINGS are in effect for Gasquet in California, while nearby communities of Hiouchi and Big Flat are on Level 1 “Get Ready” alert. Level 2 “Get Set” orders are in effect south of Kerby and Cave Junction areas in Oregon.

MORE INFORMATION:
Current evacuation orders are posted on Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SiskiyouCountySheriff/.
For Del Norte County evacuation information, see www.facebook.com/DelNorteOfficeOfEmergencyServices or www.preparedelnorte.com/
Evacuation order/warning info and other resources for Josephine County can be found by calling Josephine County Fire Information Center 541-474-5305 (7am-10pm) or online at: https://www.facebook.com/josephinecountyEM , https://www.co.josephine.or.us/fire or www.rvem.org

ROAD CLOSURES
Highway 199 remains closed from Panther Flat (north of Gasquet) to the California/Oregon state line and from O’Brien south across the stateline into California. Some other roads in Oregon are experiencing serious visibility impairments due to smoky conditions from the Slater Fire.
Highway 96 re-opened today to one-way controlled traffic. Expect delays and use caution when traveling. Air quality is currently classified as hazardous. If you have questions, please contact the Siskiyou Emergency Operations Center at (530) 643-3662.

PUBLIC LAND CLOSURES
National Forest Closures, California: National Forests in California have been closed since September 9 and new closure orders have been issued to extend for 1 week. However, these orders are being assessed on a daily basis to consider cancelling or keeping open. More details on these closure orders, along with fire restrictions orders, can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7173/
National Forest Closures, Oregon:
The Wild Rivers and Siskiyou Mountains Ranger Districts are currently closed due to extreme fire danger. These closures cover all National Forest forested areas, developed campgrounds, dispersed camping, day use areas, wilderness areas, and all forest roads and trails within those two Districts.
Bureau of Land Management Closures: As a result of extreme fire danger, the Bureau of Land Management Medford District has temporarily closed all Bureau of Land Management-administered public lands south of Grants Pass, Interstate 5, and U.S. Route 199 to the border of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Maps of the closure areas are available on the Bureau of Land Management’s website.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 15, 6:00 a.m. ...

Residents of Happy Camp are being allowed back into their homes, but increased fire activity in the Illinois Valley has led to new Level One ("Get Ready") evacuation alerts near Takilma.

Oregon area: Bulldozers and fire engines worked to contain spots between primary and secondary containment lines on the north edge of the Slater Fire today. The Slater Fire activity picked up in late afternoon, with southeast winds moving it towards Takilma and pushing it back into Cedar Gulch. Residents in the north end of the fire can expect increased activity as winds continue and the inversion lifts. New Level 1 ("Get Ready") evacuations were issued in Josephine County due to these changing conditions. https://www.facebook.com/josephinecountyEM

Gasquet Area: Firefighters continued to prepare and hold the Knopki Road to protect the town of Gasquet. Firefighters began to prep contingency lines to control the fire’s spread south and west, after the fire got established west of Highway 199 near the state line.

Happy Camp: Mop-up continued today in Happy Camp, where firelines are secure and residents were allowed back into many parts of town earlier today. Pacific Power continued to progress in restoring power to the town of Happy Camp, while cleanup there is ongoing.

www.facebook.com/SiskiyouCountySheriff

Acreage: Slater - 131,601 ; Devil 4,429

Containment : 10%

EVACUATIONS
California: EVACUATION ORDERS remain in effect for a few neighborhoods in Happy Camp where downed power lines and hazardous materials remain a concern. EVACUATION WARNINGS are still in place for most of Happy Camp including Elk Creek Road, and for Seiad along Highway 96, as well as for Gasquet, Hiouchi and Big Flat.

Oregon: Level 3 “Go” orders are in effect in the O'Brien, and Takilma areas, Dick George Road (including most of Holland Loop) and Takilma Road areas, Brown Road, O'Brien and all areas south of Brown Road O'Brien. EVACUATION WARNINGS are in effect for Gasquet in California, while nearby communities of Hiouchi and Big Flat are on Level 1 “Get Ready” alert. Level 2 “Get Set” orders are in effect south of Kerby and Cave Junction areas in Oregon.

MORE INFORMATION:
Current evacuation orders are posted on Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SiskiyouCountySheriff/.
For Del Norte County evacuation information, see www.facebook.com/DelNorteOfficeOfEmergencyServices or www.preparedelnorte.com/
Evacuation order/warning info and other resources for Josephine County can be found by calling Josephine County Fire Information Center 541-474-5305 (7am-10pm) or online at: https://www.facebook.com/josephinecountyEM , https://www.co.josephine.or.us/fire or www.rvem.org

ROAD CLOSURES
Highway 199 remains closed from Panther Flat (north of Gasquet) to the California/Oregon state line and from O’Brien south across the stateline into California. Some other roads in Oregon are experiencing serious visibility impairments due to smoky conditions from the Slater Fire.
Highway 96 re-opened today to one-way controlled traffic. Expect delays and use caution when traveling. Air quality is currently classified as hazardous. If you have questions, please contact the Siskiyou Emergency Operations Center at (530) 643-3662.

PUBLIC LAND CLOSURES
National Forest Closures, California: National Forests in California have been closed since September 9 and new closure orders have been issued to extend for 1 week. However, these orders are being assessed on a daily basis to consider cancelling or keeping open. More details on these closure orders, along with fire restrictions orders, can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7173/

National Forest Closures, Oregon:
The Wild Rivers and Siskiyou Mountains Ranger Districts are currently closed due to extreme fire danger. These closures cover all National Forest forested areas, developed campgrounds, dispersed camping, day use areas, wilderness areas, and all forest roads and trails within those two Districts.

Bureau of Land Management Closures: As a result of extreme fire activity, the Bureau of Land Management Medford District has temporarily closed all Bureau of Land Management-administered public lands south of Grants Pass, Interstate 5, and U.S. Route 199 to the border of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Maps of the closure areas are available on the Bureau of Land Management’s website.

UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 14, 11:00 a.m. ...

Fire activity on the Slater Fire remains relatively moderate in places that are under the heavy smoke inversion, but the fire intensified in places where the inversion lifted, especially on the Oregon side.

Both the north and south edges of the fire experienced some spotting last night. In Cedar Creek, Dwight Creek, and Elk Creek areas, fire-suppression efforts focused successfully on protection around structures and utilities – no structures were damaged or destroyed overnight.

The fire burned with less intensity around the Holland Loop area, so emphasis there shifted to strengthening indirect fire lines to increase community protection.

Crews mopped up around hand and dozer lines down to Highway 96 along the fire’s eastern edge, reinforcing those control lines overnight. Fire burning near Highway 96 between Happy Camp and Seiad caused some rocks to roll onto the road.

Firefighters are securing line west from China Point towards Happy Camp. Work to defend fire lines around structures at Thompson Creek is ongoing as the Slater Fire approaches that neighborhood from the west and the Devil Fire burns to the northeast.

Firefighting priorities on the south side of the fire for today remain point protection around structures and utilities, and detecting and containing any spots across the highway or ahead of the main fire.

Fire personnel are hiking into the Devil Fire again today looking for places to contain the fire along the Pacific Crest Trail, with the goal of keeping that fire west of Seiad Creek and out of the Applegate River.

Near Gasquet, crews focused on structure protection to the southwest along Knopki Creek. Firefighters worked to strengthen control lines along Monkey Ridge and Oregon Mountain Road to prevent the fire’s spread west. Since the fire crossed to the west side of Highway 199, fire managers are now adjusting their control strategy and falling back to employ different control points further to the northwest. A local crew, the Smith River Hotshots, have been assigned to the Slater Fire.

Along the west side of the fire, firefighters have continued to prep the 1040 road in the event that the Devil Fire should work its way out of the Red Buttes Wilderness. Portions of the 1040 road were treated in 2017 during the Miller Complex. With increased humidity, the Miller Complex Fire scar should slow or stop fire spread towards the Applegate Valley.

The Slater Fire has not made it into Steve’s Fork; fire personnel scouted the area several days ago and completed a full reconnaissance before the smoke settled in. The Slater Fire is currently eight to ten miles from Williams, Oregon. Firefighting resources are scouting for the best places to put in direct, indirect and contingency lines to protect communities in this area.

Firefighters are preparing Oregon Caves National Monument to protect it from the Slater Fire.

Winds out of the east have caused smoke impacts from the Slater and Devil Fires that have extended to the coast. Smoke continues to impact most of the west coast due to multiple large fires. The cool, wet smoke inversion is likely to remain into this afternoon, forecasts say. The inversion could begin mixing up into the atmosphere later this afternoon or tomorrow.

Meanwhile, winds today are blowing 15 miles per hour on ridgetops. This could affect fire behavior at higher elevations in the Slater Fire’s interior and on the Devil Fire.

Due to a record number of wildfires burning across the West and resulting resource drawdown, fire managers are moving resources around to respond to the highest threats to life and property on the Slater Fire.

The Devil Fire is estimated at 4,429 acres,and is 0% contained. The Slater Fire is estimated at 131,601 acres, and is 5% contained.

UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 13, 11:30 a.m. ...


The Slater Fire continues to slowly spread in all directions, moderated by cool, moist weather in low-lying areas. The nearby Devil Fire remains unstaffed, but Team 10 Incident Command is scouting containment opportunities. Additional firefighting resources are on order.

North side (Oregon): A virtual public meeting will be held today, September 13, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.
Slater Fire North Area Virtual Community Meeting
Sunday, September 13, 2020, 2:30 p.m.
Facebook Live @SlaterAndDevilFireInformation
www.facebook.com/SlaterAndDevilFireInformation

South side (California): A virtual meeting public will be held today, September 13, 2020 at 4 p.m.
Slater Fire South Area Virtual Community Meeting
Sunday, September 13, 2020, 4 p.m.
Facebook Live @SlaterAndDevilFireInformation
www.facebook.com/SlaterAndDevilFireInformation

Fire activity around Happy Camp has now significantly moderated, with humidity damping down fire activity along the fire perimeter there. The town remains in mop-up and patrol status, with crews falling hazard trees and power companies working diligently to restore infrastructure so that displaced residents can return as soon as it’s safe.

The Slater Fire has now backed down to Highway 96 near Seattle Creek, where firefighters have built hand line to limit fire growth potential and keep the fire north of the highway. A firing operation is planned to strengthen an indirect line protecting residences north of Happy Camp along the Highway 96 corridor, creating a solid containment line along the highway.

Meanwhile, protection is underway around structures and utilities from Thompson Creek east (and downriver) to Fort Goff. Firefighters are also performing prep work from China Creek to Thompson Creek in case the fire arrives there.

Near Gasquet, crews focused on structure protection and scouting for areas to engage. The fire is currently hung up at Oregon Mountain Road and backing into Knopki Creek, with not much movement observed on the southwest edge. A local crew, the Smith River Hotshots, have been assigned to the Slater Fire.

Along the west side of the fire, Siskiyou Mountain Ranger District initial attack firefighting crews have begun to prep the 1040 road in the event that the Devil Fire should work its way out of the Red Buttes Wilderness. Portions of the 1040 road were treated in 2017 during the Miller Complex. Along with increased humidity, the Miller Complex Fire scar should slow or stop fire spread towards the Applegate Valley.

The Slater fire has not made it into Steve’s Fork; fire personnel scouted the area several days ago and completed a full reconnaissance before the smoke settled in.

The Slater Fire is currently eight to ten miles from Williams, Oregon. Crews are scouting for the best places to put in direct, indirect and contingency lines to protect communities in this area.

Firefighters are preparing Oregon Caves National Monument to protect it from the Slater Fire.

Winds out of the east have caused smoke impacts from the Slater and Devil Fires that have extended to the coast. Smoke continues to impact most of the west coast due to multiple large fires. The cool, wet smoke inversion is likely to remain into this afternoon, forecasts say. The inversion could begin mixing up into the atmosphere later this afternoon or tomorrow. Meanwhile, winds today are blowing 15 miles per hour on ridge tops. This could affect fire behavior at higher elevations in the Slater Fire’s interior and on the Devil Fire.

The Devil Fire is estimated at 4,149 acres. The Slater Fire is estimated at 126,333 acres, according to last night’s infrared flight.

Both fires are still zero percent contained, burning mainly in timber, logging slash and brush.

Due to extreme fire danger, all National Forests in California have been closed from September 9 through 14, 2020. More details on these closure orders, along with fire restrictions orders, can be found on National Forest websites and on InciWeb.

Highway 199 remains closed from O’Brien south almost to Gasquet.

Highway 96 remains closed from Portuguese Creek to Clear Creek.

EVACUATION INFORMATION:

UPDATE: Saturday, Sept. 12, 9:00 a.m. ...

Crews are working hard to make progress against the Slater Fire and the smaller nearby Devil Fire along the Oregon-California border in Siskiyou, Del Norte and Josephine Counties

Fire officials report that humidity levels bumped up slightly Friday under the heavy smoke inversion. That allowed fire managers to establish good line around Happy Camp and focus on mopping up and securing structures.

Firefighters also made progress assessing and building fireline along the west edge of the fire. Crews constructed fireline down from Cade Mountain toward Highway 96, which the active fire’s edge is expected to reach.

Mandatory evacuation orders were downgraded to advisory warnings on the Elk Creek Road. Happy Camp remains under a mandatory evacuation order.

A bulldozer continued Friday to reopen an old line from the 2012 Goff Fire on the south side of the Devil Fire to protect the community of Seiad. Mandatory evacuation were downgraded to advisory evacuation warnings for residents along Highway 96 between Scott Bar Road and Portuguese Flat.

Crews were still unable to fly due to smoke conditions, but were able to scout opportunities for containment to the north. In the Gasquet area, the fire is backing slowly downhill in the area of Washington Peak. Crews worked to identify places to build primary and contingency fire lines, and will begin working on those lines as soon as resources become available.

Equipment and crews have been able to build approximately 18 miles of direct and indirect line along the northwestern edges of the Slater Fire. In the Holland Loop area, dozer line has been constructed to protect the structures, and the fire is still some distance from those structures.

Fireline has been completed around the community of O’Brien, and the area has suffered no additional structure losses today.

In the northwest portion of the fire near Waldo, crews were able to get out in front of it to begin building containment lines. The Wild Rivers Ranger District of the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest currently has 150 local firefighters assigned to the Slater Fire that are working along the Highway 199 corridor.

Both fires are still zero percent contained. The Devil Fire is estimated at 4,488 acres. The Slater Fire is estimated at 136,310 acres.

Relative humidity is expected to continue climbing, aiding fire managers in suppression efforts. With higher fuel moistures and light variable winds, the fire is anticipated to be more terrain driven Saturday. Winds out of the east have caused smoke impacts from the Slater and Devil Fires that have extended over to the coast. Smoke continues to impact most of the west coast due to multiple large fires.

Due to extreme fire danger, all National Forests in California have been closed from September 9 through 14, 2020. More details on these closure orders, along with fire restrictions orders, can be found on National Forest websites and on InciWeb.

Highway 199 remains closed from O’Brien south almost to Gasquet.

Evacuaton Orders remain in effect for most of Happy Camp. However, Elk Creek Road and Seiad were both downgraded to an Evacuation Warning.

In Oregon, Level 3 ("Go!") orders are in effect in the O'Brien and Takilma areas, Dick George Road (including most of Holland Loop) and Takilma Road areas, Brown Road, O'Brien and all areas south of Brown Road O'Brien.

Evacuation Warnings are in effect for Gasquet in California and Level 2 ("Get Set") orders are in effect south of Kerby and Cave Junction areas in Oregon.

For the additional information, including information on any potential evacuations, visit the following sites:

· Current evacuation orders are posted on Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SiskiyouCountySheriff/.
· For Del Norte County evacuation information, see www.facebook.com/DelNorteOfficeOfEmergencyServices.
· For Josephine County evacuation information, go to www.facebook.com/jcsosheriff, or https://www.co.josephine.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=1858
· Additional information on the Slater Fire is available on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7173/ and on Klamath National Forest Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KlamathNF/.

UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 11, 12:30 p.m. ...

Mandatory evacuation orders remain in effect for the Slater Fire burning on both sides of the California-Oregon border in the Klamath National Forest.

The footprint of the fire is now more than 140,000 acres, with the southern part of the fire flanking just to the north of Happy Camp and northern edge about 9 miles southeast of Cave Junction in Oregon.

Officials say no structures were lost on Thursday in the fire.

Evacuation orders remain for Happy Camp and Seiad Valley in California. Mandatory evacuation notices are in effect for the Oregon communities of O’Brien and Takilma and some of the surrounding areas. Level 2 “Get Set” orders have been issues for Gasquet, CA and Kerby and Cave Junction, OR.

The Slater Fire started on Monday night in Northern California and then spread into Oregon in subsequent days.

The smaller Devil Fire is burning about 4,500 acres east of the Slater Fire, just north of Seiad Valley in Northern California.

California has completely closed all of its national forests through Monday due to extreme fire danger.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m. ...

At an evening briefing, the new inter-agency management team which just took command of the Slater Fire this morning described current efforts and their plan for the coming days.

“We’re just getting our feet on the ground here, trying to figure out what we have," Public Information Officer Adrienne Freeman said.

Freeman said the unprecedented number and size of fires around the entire West Coast had left resource stretched thin, and that the response team was having to make the most of the crews and equipment available.

Operations section chief Dan George said crews had been mopping up around Happy Camp, where the fire had destroyed 150 homes and killed one person on Tuesday. He also described efforts to find places to bulldoze fire line near O'Brien and Cave Junction, over the Oregon border in Josephine County, where the fire had jumped about four miles of Highway 199 on Wednesday.

Deputy Incident Commander Ben Newbern said the response to the Slater Fire is having to make decisions on priorities.

"We're working primarily on life safety and point protection of structures and other infrastructure items," Newberg said. "And we'll be looking at assessing opportunities to do perimeter protection in the days ahead."

The communities of Happy Camp, O'Brien, Takilma, Cave Junction and Gasquet are the most vulnerable to the fire, which is so far uncontained.

A new fire, called the Devil Fire, was detected on Tuesday, east of the Slater Fire north of Seiad. It's currently about 2,000 acres and is essentially unstaffed at this time.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 10, 6:00 a.m. ...

From the Siskiyou County Sheriff' Office:
One Fatality Confirmed Related to the Slater Fire

HAPPY CAMP, CALIFORNIA—On September 7, 2020, during the evening hours, the Slater Fire started near Slater Butte Fire Lookout on the Klamath National Forest. The wind driven wildfire has grown to an estimated 30,000 plus acres. An estimated 150 homes were lost in the Happy Camp, California area. An evacuation order was issued for the town of Happy Camp and surrounding communities, as well as various roads along Highway 96 between Clear Creek and the O’Neil Creek Campground. Currently Highway 96 is closed from Fort Goff on the northeast side of Happy Camp to Clear Creek on the southwest side. Evacuation Orders and Warnings are currently in effect for the area.

On Wednesday, September 9, 2020, one fatality was confirmed in the burn area near Happy Camp, California. The positive identification of the deceased person is pending further investigation. Once positive identification is obtained, and the next-of-kin is notified, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office will release updated information.

This message was sent in conjunction with Siskiyou County Office of Emergency Services

For the latest evacuation information please refer to the Siskiyou County Sheriffs Department Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/SiskiyouCountySheriff/

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 9, 3:00 p.m. ...

A temporary evacuation center is available at the Seiad Volunteer Fire Department, 44601 Highway 96 in Seiad Valley, California 96086. An overnight evacuation center is available at the Karuk Tribal Wellness Center, 1403 Kahtisraam, Yreka, CA 96097.

From Josephine County ... To better provide residents with up-to-date information on how wildfires in and around the county are affecting residents and infrastructure, Josephine County Emergency Management has established a call center.

Citizens and visitors should call (541) 474-5305 with any questions or concerns about evacuations, road closures or other effects of wildfires. They can also visit co.josephine.or.us/fire for more information.

For active emergencies, please call 911. Questions about fires themselves should be directed to the responding agency.

Jackson County also has a wildfire call center that can be reached at (541) 776-7338.

ORIGINAL POST: ... The Slater Fire, which started on the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County, was estimated to be 150 acres Tuesday morning. By 4:00 it had increased to 22,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of the town of Happy Camp.

As of noon on Wednesday, the fire was estimated at 40,000 acres and was spreading north, triggering evacuations from Gasquet, in Del Norte County to O'Brien in Josephine County.

According to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, about 400 homes are threatened , and about 150 are damaged or destroyed.

The fire is spreading in all directions and there is no containment.

According to the Josephine County Sheriff's Office, a Level 3 “GO!” notice has been ordered for the O'Brien and Takilma areas. From the 37000 block of Redwood Highway south to the CA border. And from 4 Corners intersection east on Happy Camp road to the fire's edge and from 4 corners intersection south on Takilma road to the fire's edge. Evacuees should head to Grants Pass Fairgrounds.

A Level 2 “GET SET" notice has been ordered for the areas south of Kerby city limits from Hanby Lane south to the 37000 block of Redwood Highway. "GET SET" means prepare now to be evacuated at a moment's notice should conditions change.

RESOURCES:

INCIWEB LINK

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7173/

CURRENT SHELTER LOCATION:

Seiad Fire Department44601 Highway 96Seiad Valley, CA 96086

OVERNIGHT SHELTER LOCATION:

Karuk Tribal Wellness Center1403 KahtishraamYreka, CA 96097

FIRE INFORMATION LINE(530) 356-9434