Log, Whites fires in Yreka continue to grow

Press release from the U.S. Forest Service:

Date Started: July 31, 2014

Size: 10,910 acres

Est. Date of Containment: Log fire 8/17/14; White fire 8/30/14

Total Personnel: 1,271

Structures threatened: Residences 669; Commercial 46; Other 592

Committed Resources: 34 crews, 79 engines, 28 dozers, 13 helicopters

Quartz Valley Community Meeting this evening at 7 p.m. at the Quartz Valley School.

Operational Objectives:

Log fire: Keep the fire south of Shackleford trail, north of Kidder Creek, east of Campbell Lake and west of Ricky Creek. The estimated final size of this fire is 6,300 acres, or about 10 square miles. Leef and Rays fires: These fires are contained by firelines. Whites fire: Keep the fire north of Forest Road 93 and 39 in Six Mile Creek, in the Russian Wilderness, south of the road system from the 40N54 road to Statue Lake, and east of the Sawyers Bar Road. The estimated final size of this fire is 23,300 acres, or about 36 square miles.

Fire Weather/Behavior: Due to clearing skies and good ventilation, firefighters expect increased fire behavior. Predictive models show a potential for rapid growth of the Log and Whites fires. The weather is trending toward warmer, drier more unstable conditions. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning in effect from 11 am Sunday to 5 am Tuesday, due to predicted lightning with record dry fuels. There is a fire behavior advisory for record low fuel moistures in both live and dead fuels.

Changes in the last 24 hours:

The Log fire grew by 249 acres and now totals 2,521 acres, or about four square miles, and is 18% contained. Growth was primarily to the south, up the Mill Creek drainage. The main fire remains about three-quarters of a mile from the ridgetop but has thrown some small spots to within one-quarter mile. The fire has not crossed Mill Creek to the east. Firefighters built line directly against the fire's northern and eastern edges, making the currently planned strategic firing operation unnecessary.

The Whites fire grew by 533 acres and now totals 8,342 acres, or about 13 square miles. It is 4% contained on the southern end. Growth was north and west into the South Russian and Music Creek drainages; and east just north of the Horse Range lakes area. The fire has crossed into the upper French Creek drainage in the Russian Wilderness.

Today's plan:

On the Log fire firefighters will continue improving fireline down to Mill Creek continue direct fireline construction as fire behavior permits. Fireline has been established on the north and northeastern edge of the fire. Hand crews are working from the northwest and the northeast corners of the fire, moving to the west into the Marble Mountain Wilderness to contain the fire. Helicopters and fixed-wing retardant will be used to keep the fire contained below the ridgeline between Kidder Creek and Mill Creek.

On the Whites fire, protection will continue for the historic mining district and the Rainbow Mine. Firefighters are building indirect firelines to create a defensible perimeter and will directly attack the burning edge of the fire where terrain and fire behavior permit. A priority for suppression is to cut off and hold the fire in the upper French Creek drainage near the Wilderness boundary.

Leef fire: This 17-acre fire is in patrol status.

Ray fire: This 30-acre fire is in patrol status.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office has:

Issued an Evacuation Advisory for residents of the Idlewild, Taylor Lake and Robinson Flat areas. This notice is for all residents east and west of Sawyers Bar road between Etna Summit and the 40N61 Road and on the 40N54 Road. Residents should be prepared to evacuate should fire conditions worsen.

Issued an Evacuation Order for residents of the Music Creek, South Russian Creek and Rainbow Mine areas. This order is for all residents east of Sawyers Bar on the 40N54 Road

Expanded the Evacuation Advisory for all residents of Quartz Valley, Mugginsville, Greenview and South Kidder Creek. The notice is for all residents along Quartz Valley Road between Oro fino Road and Highway 3, between South Kidder Creek and Quartz Valley Road.

Placed a "soft" closure on the Sawyers Bar Road at Etna Summit. Only residents and other persons with legitimate need for access will be allowed to use the road.

See the complete orders and advisory at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4035.

One Less Spark: Many human activities such as operating machinery, off-highway driving, allowing a safety chain to drag and using firearms can cause sparks. Please be very careful not to start another fire. One less spark-one less wildfire.

Are You Ready for Wildfire? For a checklist of things to do if you are in an advisory area, please see CAL FIRE's site http://www.readyforwildfire.org/getting_set

Air Quality: For information on smoke conditions and health effects, visit Siskiyou County Pollution Control District (http://tinyurl.com/ljzak8a), the National Interagency Real-Time Smoke Monitoring Network (http://app.airsis.com/usfs/fleet.aspx) or the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (http://ncuaqmd.org/).Residents are encouraged to visit the "Protect Yourself from Smoke" website for smoke protection information http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/.

There are area closures in place on the Klamath National Forest because of these fires. Details on the new and existing forest closure orders can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/klamath/alerts-notices.