River Complex Fire update 08.17.2021

Release Date: Aug 17, 2021

Contact(s): Fire Information (707) 596-6075


At 6:00 am on August 17, California Interagency Incident Management Team 15, led by Incident Commander Jim Harris, took command the River Complex fires. Firefighters on the River Complex are anticipating an increase in fire activity across the River Complex due to a Red Flag Warning, that is in effect from 2:00 pm until 11:00 pm. Today, firefighters will focus on constructing and improving fire lines, and preparing for structure defense in communities threatened by the fires.

Weather: A weather system continues to push through the region with a very dry air mass filtering in from the northwest. Stronger winds aloft will spread over the area later today, and when coupled with the dry air, will result in critical fire weather conditions across the fire area. The strongest winds are expected on ridgetops and upper slopes where gusts of up to 30 mph are possible through the evening. While conditions will be cooler, more sunshine will reach the surface, allowing for better mixing and ventilation of the fire area. As the inversion lifts in the early afternoon, fire behavior will increase.

Today:

  • Red Flag Warning issued due to wind and low humidity levels.
  • Contain fire to the south side of the Cecilville/Callahan Road on the north side of the Haypress
  • Continue mop up and patrol of existing control lines, monitor for spot fires and slop-overs on all River Complex fires.
  • 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
  • All fires within the River Complex are being managed under a full suppression tactics plan.

Fire Behavior:

  • Haypress Fire: The dry conditions and afternoon northwesterly winds will continue to adversely affect the east side of the fire near Fish Lake Dip and on the spot fires across West Coffee Creek Road as they have slope and fuel aligned up to Grouse Ridge.
  • Summer Fire: Fire activity will be focused in the areas west of Cecil Creek and on the upper elevations on the very south end of the fire.
  • Cronan Fires: Fire activity is isolated to the western flank as the fire backs into Olsen creek.

Fire Statistics:

  • Total complex 44,117 acres, 10% Containment
  • Haypress Fire: 28,953 acres (2108 acres growth) 3% Contained
  • Summer Fire: 13,053 acres (852 acres growth) 2% Contained
  • Cronan Fire: 2,074 acres (126 acres growth) 18% Contained
  • Multiple other smaller fires (37 total acres) make up the total River Complex acres with a total of 2% containment. All other fires are either out or in patrol status.

Evacuations:

  • Evacuation Order: Cecilville, Summerville, Petersburg, and Coffee Creek Road past Sugar Pine Trailhead 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 and/or property. Those who require additional time to evacuate, and those with pets and livestock should leave now.

Road Closures:

  • 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 Trailhead.

Forest Closures:

  • 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.

Resources:

  • 645 Personnel
  • 10 Hand Crews
  • 5 Helicopters
  • 28 Engines
  • 8 Dozers
  • 6 Water Tender
  • 2 Masticators

Smoke Report: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/NorthernCalifornia

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/

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