FireWatch: Containment rises on River Complex fires in southwestern Siskiyou County

Of the 32 fires that once comprised the lightning-caused River Complex fires, only the Haypress and Summer fires remain active.

Posted: Sep 13, 2021 11:07 AM
Updated: Sep 14, 2021 1:13 PM

ETNA, Calif. — Fire officials on the River Complex anticipate increased fire activity on Monday as humidity drops in the area. As of Monday morning, the complex covered 185,951 acres with containment rising to 30 percent from 21 percent on Sunday.

Of the 32 fires that once comprised the lightning-caused River Complex fires, only the Haypress and Summer fires remain active. Those two fires remain a threat, however, causing a series of evacuation orders and warnings in both Siskiyou and Trinity counties.

"The situation that we've been dealing with has been challenging, with both the terrain and the ground that we're in, then also having to deal with what Mother Nature hands us," said Cody Stacher, division supervisor on the Haypress Fire. "Where we're standing at now is the result of a front that moved in and had twelve to fifteen mile-an-hour winds that brought the fire out of the wilderness down through here in a matter of hours.

"Basically everything from behind us to the west and then pushed back up towards the east was at a continuous flank fire for several hours before the rain showed up later that night, around 11 o'clock, that basically stopped it from its flanking progression out towards the north and to the valley floor of Scott Valley."

Officials said that the River Complex is not included in a Red Flag warning for parts of northern California and southwestern Oregon on Monday, but the drop in humidity could still result in an uptick in fire activity.


FIREWATCH: For updates on the McCash Fire, click here. For updates on the Antelope Fire, click here.


Crews have been working to build direct containment lines along the fire's southeastern perimeter, north and south of Coffee Creek. Meanwhile, crews have been using indirect lines in areas where the terrain and other factors make direct work too dangerous. On the northeastern perimeter, firefighters have been working to contain active fire near Fox Creek and Sugar Hill, building containment lines along existing roads, trails, and with dozer lines.

Multiple roads remain closed due to the River Complex. Coffee Creek Road west of Highway 3 is closed, as is Cecilville Road west from Callahan, which includes Cecilville to Plumber Creek north and west of the Siskiyou-Trinity county line. Sawyers Bar Road from Highway 93 to Yellowjacket Road is also closed.

The Callahan area remains under an evacuation order, with evacuation warnings in effect for surrounding areas. An interactive evacuation map can be accessed here.

A community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 14, at the Trinity Center Community Hall, 20 Scott Blvd, Trinity Center, California 96091.

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