July Complex Grows; Residents Evacuate

July Complex 2ETNA, Ca. — The July Complex is now 15,115 acres and consists of the Log Fire (3,016 acres), the Whites Fire (12,061 acres), the Leef Fire (17 acres) and the Rays Fire (21 acres). There are 744 structures threatened, including 46 commercial buildings. The fire has 29 crews, 78 engines, 34 dozers, 15 helicopters, 31 water tenders and 5 masticators.

There are mandatory evacuations in place for residents of the Idlewild, Mule Bridge, Robinson Flat and Whites Gulch areas. This order is for all residents east and west of Sawyers Bar Road between Taylor Creek and Forest Road 40N61 and on Forest Road 40N54. Once a person leaves, they may not be able to reenter the evacuation area until the fire danger has passed.

There is an evacuation advisory for all residents of Quartz Valley, Mugginsville, Greenview and South Kidder Creek. The notice is for all residents along Quartz Valley Road between Oro Fino Road and Highway 3, between South Kidder Creek and Quartz Valley Road. There is a hard closure on the Sawyer Bar Road from east of Sawyers Bar to Etna Summit. Only firefighting traffic is allowed along that road.

There is a community meeting Monday at 6:00 p.m. at the Salmon River Restoration Council to share information about the July Complex to residents affected by the fire.

Below is information from the July Complex Information Center about specific suppression efforts on the fires burning within the Complex.

Operational Objectives: Log Fire–Keep the fire south of Shackleford Trail, north of Kidder Creek, east of Campbell Lake and west of Ricky Creek;  Leef and Rays Fires–These fires are 100% contained;Whites Fire–Keep the fire north of Forest Road 39 in Six Mile Creek; west of and within the Russian Wilderness boundary; south of the Etna Summit and Taylor Lake Trailhead Road; and east of Rattlesnake Gulch north toward Tanners Peak.

Fire Weather/Behavior:  The weather is expected to be warmer and dryer with increasingly unstable air and southeast winds this afternoon. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning because of predicted lightning with record dry fuels. Thunderstorms are expected to develop in the area beginning late thisafternoon. This weather is expected to increase the intensity, spread rate and spotting distance of the fires.

The Log Fire now totals 3,016 acres, or almost five square miles, and is 25% contained. The fire has spread south up the Mill Creek drainage, reaching the ridgeline north of Kidder Creek.  Firelines are holding in the locations where the fire has reached the ridgeline.

Firefighters will continue improving fireline down to Mill Creek and continue direct fireline construction as fire behavior permits. Fireline has been established on the north and northeastern sides of the fire. Hand crews are  constructing linefrom the northwest and the southwest corners of the fire, moving to the west into the Marble Mountain Wilderness, to contain the fire.

The Whites Fire now totals 12,061 acres, or almost 19 square miles, and is 4% contained on the southern end. Yesterday, the fire grew 3,086 acres making major runs north into Music Creek, Highland Creek, and into the headwaters of Cow Creek. Driven by southeast winds, the fire made two-mile runswith spots occurring as far as one mile ahead of the flaming front. The fire moved west into Applesauce and Hickey Gulches and south into the East Fork of Whites Gulch and Sixmile Creek. The fire crossed Sawyers Bar Road and spotted into North Russian Creek and the North Fork Salmon River drainages.  Fire activity prompted a hard closure of the road from east of Sawyers Bar to Etna Summit. On the east side of the fire in the Russian Wilderness, helicopters and a favorable wind have kept the fire from progressing down French Creek. Structure defense continues for the historic mining district and the Rainbow Mine. Crews are also conducting structure defense in Idlewild, Robinson Flat Whites Gulch and Taylor Lake.
Leef Fire: This 17-acre fire is 100% contained and in patrol status.
Ray Fire: This 21-acre fire is 100% contained and in patrol status.