The Modoc July Complex which has been burning since July 24 is holding steady at 83,001 acres and is now 91 percent contained.
The Modoc July Complex which has been burning since July 24 is holding steady at 83,001 acres and is now 91 percent contained. This complex includes all of the Modoc National Forest west of Highway 395.
Almost an inch of rain fell on the Steele Fire Monday, which helped personnel make significant improvements on firelines, mop up and further control sections of interior heat.
The 120-acre Chalk Fire was reported at approximately 5 p.m. in the northwestern section of the Modoc July Complex. The area of the fire is predominately grass. Crews continued to work the fire through the night; the fire is still not contained. Four additional fires were reported at approximately 8 p.m. last night and were quickly contained. The majority of resources were pulled from night shift early in order to rest, recover and resume work with a focus on initial attack today.
Despite Monday’s rain and Tuesday’s high humidity, sunny conditions will quickly dry out fuels making them susceptible to ignition. The possibility for new fire starts remains very high. As fuels dry out and winds increase, sleepers – small, smoldering lightning strikes that went previously undetected – could begin to grow. Lightning is also expected to return this afternoon.
The Steele Fire remains at 45,690 acres and is 91 percent contained. The Rim Rock and Lake fires remain in patrol status and are 100 percent contained.
The Cove Fire is 100 percent contained and 38,887 acres. No new fires were reported from the thunderstorms yesterday.
Closures: Forest closure orders can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/modoc/alerts-notices.
The Clear Fire, which started from lightning on July 25, is located approximately 7 miles southwest of Happy Camp.
The fire was quiet Monday and Monday evening. No rain or lightning occurred in the fire area. Monday crews completed a fire line from Elbow Springs to near the boundary of the 2016 Pony Fire.
The southwestern tip of the fire continues to be scouted for construction of a short section of fire line in the Swillip Creek drainage. The rest of the perimeter continues to be mopped up and patrolled. Last night two crews and three engines were sent to the Ukonom Fire to assist with a spot that crossed State Route 96 near Dillon Creek (the spot was successfully contained). Remaining night shift engines patrolled the Clear Fire.
As of last night, the Clear Fire was 6,600 acres and 45 percent contained, with 545 people working on the fire. The fire area is under a Red Flag warning for abundant lightning on dry fuels. Thunderstorm cells may also produce erratic, gusty winds, and heavy rain. Thunderstorm activity in northern California is expected for most of this week.
Smoke in the Happy Camp area continues to be a concern, although local thunderstorms with rain could temporarily improve air quality. A daily Air Quality Report for all large wildfires in northwest California is posted on the Clear Fire Inciweb page (inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5433/).
Drones are prohibited in the Clear Fire area. Unauthorized drones stop all firefighting aircraft work and jeopardize firefighter safety. “If you fly, we can’t.” A detailed news release about drone use was issued Monday and can be accessed on the Clear Fire Inciweb page.
Be advised to stay alert on roads and highways. In the interest of public safety, the Klamath National Forest has closed certain roads and trails through Emergency Order No. 17-05-796. For a detailed list of closures and a map, see the information sources below. There are also postings on access roads and trails.
Additional information about the Clear Fire is available on the U.S. Forest Service – Klamath National Forest Facebook page, on Inciweb, and on bulletin boards in Happy Camp. Information can also be obtained from the Happy Camp Ranger District at (530) 493-2243.