HAPPY CAMP, Calif. — The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office on Friday expanded evacuation orders on the McCash Fire on the northwestern side of the county, bringing them to areas just south of Happy Camp.
The McCash Fire was estimated at 82,471 acres as of Friday morning, growing 1,860 from the day before. Containment of the fire increased to 28 percent, and the 14-acre Little Marble Fire is now fully contained.
The new evacuation order applies to areas south of Happy Camp, south of Fryingpan Ridge, east of Highway 96, and including Elk Creek Road above milepost 2.
Fire officials reported that the McCash Fire was most active in the Elk Creek area on Thursday, crossing Bishop Creek and Chicken Ladder Road overnight. Aircraft dropped retardant along Titus Ridge, while helicopters conducted bucket drops to moderate activity on the advancing fire.
Firefighters worked to knock down the flames along Elk Creek to Bishop Creek. They planned Friday to continue active engagement of the fire in order to slow its northward progress, while mopping up spot fires north of Doolittle Creek Road and monitoring fire activity around Huckleberry Mountain.
"The fire continues to burn in the Ukonom Creek area down to the Klamath River," officials said on Friday. "Fire is holding along recent burn scars, which are serving as containment lines. This has resulted in the increased containment. Crews are working to open up the Ti Bar Road by cutting downed timber and felling hazardous trees."
Structural groups have been prepping buildings east of Highway 96 near the community of Somes Bar, which is on the southwest side of the fire. Officials said that the southern flank of the fire is still burning actively within the wilderness, and fire managers have been looking at different strategies to deal with this area.