FireWatch: Evacuation orders issued due to lightning fires in Siskiyou County

The River Complex fires are located within the western Klamath National Forest, with some areas now under evacuations The Antelope Fire, also within the forest, is located to the east.

Posted: Aug 2, 2021 10:15 AM
Updated: Aug 2, 2021 5:37 PM

FORKS OF SALMON, Calif. —

UPDATE: Another evacuation order is now in place for Siskiyou County due to wildfires in the area. This one applies to Antelope Creek near Tennant, California. People are asked to leave the area immediately.

The Klamath National Forest clarified that the fires in this area, on the Goosenest and Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger Districts, are not part of the River Complex.

The Antelope Fire, which prompted the evacuation in the Tennant area, was last estimated at 105 acres. Resources at the scene include three dozers, five engines, a water tender, a hand crew, and aircraft. 

"All other fires on the Goosenest have been contained. All previously reported fires are contained on the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll District as well," KNF said in a statement.

(Updated 8/2/21 at 5:24 p.m.)


UPDATE: The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office has now issued an evacuation order for Taylor Creek Road and surrounding areas due to one of the River Complex fires in the area. People are asked to leave the area immediately.

Forest Service officials said that fire activity has increased on Monday with the arrival of a dry airmass.

An evacuation warning remains in place for the the Forks of Salmon and Sawyers Bar areas due to the multiple fires in the Klamath National Forest.

There are about 13 active fires within the complex. The Haypress Fire is the largest, at roughly 600 acres with reports of active fire behavior. The Summer Fire is about 75 acres, the Cronan Fire at 165 acres, and the Packers Fire is 50 acres staffed with smokejumpers.

(Updated 8/2/21 at 12:47 p.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: More areas of Siskiyou County are under evacuation warnings Monday morning after thunderstorms sparked a series of fires within the Klamath National Forest over the weekend.

The areas of Forks of Salmon and Sawyers Bar were placed under an evacuation warning on Sunday. On Monday, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office issued an additional warning from Taylor Creek Road to Caribou Road along Cecilville Road, continuing to areas of Summerville following the South Fork of the Salmon River "due to the unpredicted fire behavior in the Klamath National Forest."

"This is a WARNING only at this time. Be alert and be ready to go in case an order is issued," the Sheriff's Office said.

Forestry officials have dubbed these lightning fires the River Complex. Some remain quite small, but others have grown to cover hundreds of acres.

"There has been significant support from outside the Klamath National Forest for these fires, including Smokejumpers, heli-rappel modules, and contracted fire engines and hand crews as well as CAL FIRE’s Siskiyou Unit," the U.S. Forest Service said in a Monday update.

Officials have requested more resources to help suppress these fires, but demand for suppression help is high in Northern California due to the number of ongoing incidents. A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been activated for the River Complex.

Thus far, officials have provided the following information about each of these fires:

  • Haypress Fire - 400 acres, increased activity.
  • Packers Fire – This incident was reported today and is approximately 5 acres. 16 Smokejumpers are assigned to this fire, which is on Packers Peak in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, 1.5 miles northwest of Big Flat.
  • Cronan Fire - estimated to be 150 acres. This fire is 3.5 miles northwest of Sawyers Bar. It is burning to the north. Being monitored by air.
  • Summer - 30 acres and located near the China Gulch Trailhead in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Being monitored by air. Evacuation of hikers are in progress between China Gulch Trailhead and Grizzly Lake due to fire on both sides of the trail.
  • Trailhead - north of Etna Summit. Approximately 2 acres. Firefighters are improving line and being supported by helicopter bucket drops.
  • Graham – remains at 5 acres. 3 miles north of Matthews Creek Campground. Firefighters are improving line and mopping up.
  • Fish – 4 acres. 1.5 miles southeast of Trail Creek Campground. Being monitored by air.
  • Ruffey - .5 acres. Heli-rappeller squad on scene securing fireline and mopping up. In the Etna Mountain area.
  • Island – approximately 3 acres with no growth. Smokejumpers on scene mopping up. Near Lake of the Island in the Marble Mountain Wilderness.
  • Kelly – 3 miles NNW of Sawyers Bar. Remains at .25 acres. Firefighters are securing line and mopping up.
  • Shadow – This fire was located today and is approximately 1 acre. Located 2.5 miles southeast of Eddie Gulch Lookout.

Additional small fires have been reported but have not yet been verified by ground forces. Seven fires on the River Complex have been contained.

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