ETNA, Calif. — The Klamath National Forest reported large fire growth for the River Complex Fire at the southeast flank of Haypress with the majority of the spread in McNeil Creek, up to Adams and Packers Peak on the Klamath and Shasta-Trinity National Forest border.
According to fire crews, infrared data shows the fire is backing down-slope to the east into west Coffee Creek Road near the Crosby and Thompson Gulch areas. The west Coffee Creek Road area is a very dense, continuous mixed conifer forest with no previously recorded fire history. The Summer fire had limited growth to the north west, while the Cronan showed some backing fire activity to the south west.
A public meeting is planned for Saturday, August 14 at Etna High School in the Multipurpose room at 5:00 pm.
The meeting will also live stream on the Klamath National Forest Facebook Page. Covid mitigations will be in place for all in person attendees at Etna High School. https://www.facebook.com/KlamathNF/
Night operations on Friday, August 13, included monitoring and patrolling key areas where fires were backing toward Summerville and along the South Fork of the Salmon River. Fire crews assigned to Coffee Creek continue to assess structures in the area and are preparing a structure defense plan.
Today, the objective for firefighters is to contain fire to the south side of the Cecilville/Callahan Road on the north side of the Haypress, continue mop up and patrol of the slop-over on the north side of the Cronan, conduct firing operations where feasible to strengthen containment lines and remove available fuels for the fire to consume, continue direct and indirect line construction and firing operations on the north side of the Summer and the south side of the Haypress to keep the fire from progressing towards communities, and all fires within the River Complex are being managed under a full suppression tactics plan
Observed fire behavior included group tree torching and moderate duration crown fire runs in extremely dry fuels and vegetation in steep terrain. Crews on the ground reported moderate fire activity overnight Friday into this morning.
Weather: Hot interior temperatures will continue this weekend as high pressure remains over the area, although smoke from area fires will tend to limit heating, especially around Trinity County.
Winds will be general diurnal and terrain-driven for the next several days, with locally breezy northwest up- valley and gap winds each afternoon. There is a slight chance for a few isolated thunderstorms around eastern or northern Trinity County during this afternoon. Any storm may have limited rainfall and bring a threat for gusty and erratic winds.
• Total complex 39,335 acres (2,396 acres growth); 10% Containment
• Haypress Fire: 23,698 acres (1,864 acres growth) - 3% Contained
• Summer Fire: 11,398 acres (448 acres growth) – 2% Contained
• Cronan Fire: 1,826 acres (79 acres growth) – 3% Contained
• Multiple other smaller fires make up the total complex acres with a total of 2% containment. All other fires are either out or in patrol status.
• Evacuation Order: Cecilville, Summerville, Petersburg, and Coffee Creek past Sugar Pine Campground in Trinity County.
• Evacuation Warning: Sawyers Bar
An evacuation order means there is immediate threat to life and is a lawful order to leave immediately. The area is closed to public access. An evacuation warning means there is a potential threat to life or property, includes those who require additional time to evacuate, and those with pets and livestock should leave now.
• The Callahan-Cecilville Road is closed from approximately one mile west of the community of Callahan to Cecilville.
• The Sawyers Bar Road is closed from Forks of Salmon to Forest Road 40N51.
• Trinity County has closed Coffee Creek Road west of Sugar Pine Campground.
• The Shasta-Trinity, Klamath and Six Rivers National Forests have issued an order closing the Trinity Alps Wilderness through November 15, 2021. Trails and recreational areas are all closed.
• The Klamath and Six Rivers National Forests have closed the Marble Mountain and Russian Wildernesses and the forest within the Salmon/Scott River Ranger District. All roads, trails and recreation areas are closed to the public through September 15, 2021.
For additional information, call the River Complex Fire information line at (707) 596-6075 or go to the InciWeb page at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7760/