FireWatch: Antelope Fire moves toward Tennant in Siskiyou County

A system of fires across the Klamath National Forest have prompted evacuation orders on both the east and west sides of the forest, impacting multiple small communities.

Posted: Aug 4, 2021 11:01 AM
Updated: Aug 4, 2021 5:59 PM

YREKA, Calif. — The Antelope Fire in eastern Siskiyou County flared up Wednesday afternoon, with fire officials reporting that it was moving toward the community of Tennant northwest of Mount Shasta.

"Firefighters on the Antelope Fire have reported that the fire is very active this afternoon with fire in the upper tree canopy," officials said. "Spot fires have been observed a half-mile ahead of the main fire."

Fire officials said that air resources have been unavailable to help with firefighting efforts due to poor visibility created by the thick haze of smoke. Throughout Wednesday the fire grew to the north, toward the southwest parts of Tennant and Fish Camp.

"Resources are in place to protect values at risk ahead of the fire. Some structures may have been impacted, although the type, location, and number of structures is unknown at this time," officials continued.

Multiple areas of Siskiyou County remain under evacuation orders as fires throughout the Klamath National Forest continue to spread. Those fires are roughly divided into two theaters — the River Complex fires in the very southwestern reaches of Siskiyou County, and the Antelope Fire just south of where Tennant Fire burned in July.

Fire officials said that fire behavior moderated somewhat on Tuesday due to the smoke inversion over most of the area, but Red Flag conditions were anticipated for Wednesday afternoon.

"The River Complex will continue to be a dynamic situation due to critically dry fuels, limited firefighting resources and the continued hot and dry weather," officials said. "Residents of these areas need to monitor information and heed direction from authorities."

The River Complex consists of more than a dozen fires, though most remain small or have been contained. The largest and most challenging are the 6,000-acre Haypress Fire southeast of Shadow Creek Campground, the 2,500-acre Summer Fire near Cecil Lake, and the 430-acre Cronan Fire northwest of Sawyers Bar.

To the east, the Antelope Fire was last estimated at 2,700 acres, burning into the Antelope Creek drainage and on both sides of the 6 Road.

Fire officials said that crews have been focused on the north side of the fire protecting the community of Tennant. The fire grew to the east on Tuesday, toward Little Horse Peak and an area that was previously logged. Thanks to the smoke inversion, crews reported no large runs on the fire like those seen on Monday when steady, high winds blew for hours.

Evacuation orders and warnings are still in effect for areas surrounding the communities of Forks of Salmon, Sawyers Bar, Taylor Creek Road, Tennant, and Antelope Creek. Up-to-date information regarding evacuations can be viewed at an interactive map managed by the Siskiyou County Office of Emergency Services: https://arcg.is/1nnHKm0.

Officials said that firefighting resources are stretched thin responding to the scattered fires caused by weekend thunderstorms. Resources from outside the KNF are working on the fires to help local crews — including Smokejumpers, heli-rappel modules, and contracted fire engines and hand crews. CAL FIRE’s Siskiyou Unit is also providing assistance.

Additional resources have been requested to support suppression operations, but demand for reinforcements is high in Northern California due to multiple incidents. A Type 2 incident management team has taken over command of the River Complex incident.

Here are the active evacuation orders and warnings as of Wednesday morning:

River Complex fires

  • An evacuation order has been issued for the town of Cecilville and all residents along Caribou Road due to wildfire. Leave the area immediately.
  • An evacuation order has been issued for Taylor Creek Road and surrounding areas by the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office. Please leave the area immediately.
  • An evacuation warning has been issued for the following areas surrounding the Cecilville area: Godfried, Blue Ridge, Black Bear, Uncle Sam Mine and Eddy Gulch Road. Please prepare in case evacuations are ordered.
  • An evacuation warning issued by the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office remains in effect for Forks of Salmon and Sawyers Bar areas.

Antelope Fire

  • An evacuation order has been issued for the Bray area due to a wildfire. Please leave the area immediately.
  • An evacuation order has been issued for the community of Tennant, California. Please leave the area immediately.
  • An evacuation order has been issued for Antelope Creek near Tennant, CA. This is an ORDER to leave immediately.

A Temporary Evacuation Point (TEP) has been set up at the Dorris City Hall, 307 South Main Street, Dorris, CA. If you are evacuated and need assistance or sheltering, please proceed to the Dorris City Hall or call 530-340-3539 for assistance.

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