Happy Camp Complex Fire remains at 15 percent containment, crews ready for warmer days

The following is a press release issued by the U.S. Forest Service:

Size: 63,847 acres total for the complex

Containment: 15 percent for the complex

Date Started: August 11, 2014

Estimated Containment Date: September 8, 2014

Estimated Cost to Date: $31.9 million

Total Personnel: 2,415

Committed Resources: 52 crews, 19 helicopters, 137 engines, 18 dozers, 26 water tenders, 29 mules, 8 horses

Traffic Control: Highway 96 remains open, however travelers should expect delays as pilot cars assist safe movement around firefighters and equipment from the intersection of Highway 96 and Scott River Road to Walker Creek Road. These measures will be in place as long as fire and smoke conditions dictate.

Fire Information:

The Happy Camp Complex is currently 63,847 and 15-percent contained. Warmer and dryer weather is expected today over the fire as a high pressure builds over the region. Temperatures are expected to be 5-10 degrees warmer with light north/northwesterly winds. The fire is expected to continue to spread slowly along Hwy 96 so long as the smoke inversion remains over the fire. If the inversion should lift significant spotting could occur. It is also predicted the fire will spread slowly south/southeast while aligned in the drainages toward Scott River Road. Structure defense preparations continue along Hwy 96, and firefighters are looking for opportunities to safely engage the fire where they can. Firefighters will continue to build fire lines above Walker Creek and Lake Mountain, in addition to southeast along Cayenne Ridge. Crews have thinned fuels along Scott River Valley up to 100 feet from the road, installed hose lays and sprinkler systems, placed water tanks, wrapped telephone poles and completed other preparations in an effort to stop the spread of fire in this area.

Fire growth is expected to be limited on the south end toward Packer Valley. No movement is predicted on the west side of the fire. Firefighters on the west side will continue to monitor and patrol, while mopping up any hot spots to help prevent fire from moving any further west.

Mule pack strings are being used in the Paradise Lake area to help move crews and equipment in and out of the south end of the fire area. Each mule is capable of carrying 160 to 200 pounds of gear necessary for firefighters to complete their mission.

Residents in the area can expect poor air quality to continue. Communities along Scott River Road and Hwy 96 continue to be threatened. These include Seiad, Hamburg, Kelsey Creek and Scott Bar Areas.


Mandatory evacuation orders are in place along Scott River Road from Bridge Flat to the intersection of Hwy 96, all areas south of Hwy 96 between Scott River Road and Cade Summit. The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department will be patrolling 24 hours in the evacuated areas.

Advisory Evacuations are in effect for all areas north of Hwy 96 between Scott River Road and Grider Creek. Residents in advisory evacuation areas should begin preparing for a potential evacuation order. The evacuations will last until it is safe for residents to return to their homes. Those in need of assistance with livestock or for additional information contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff Department at (530) 841-2900.

Additional information is available at http://www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/content/emergency-information.

Forest Closures and Restrictions:

Roads, trails and lands within and adjacent to the Happy Camp and July complexes, as well as the Beaver Fire, are closed to protect public and firefighter safety. This includes those sections of the Pacific Crest Trail within closure areas. Maps and descriptions of closed areas are available at Klamath National Forest offices in Yreka, Fort Jones, Happy Camp and Macdoel. For details on this closure and other fire area closures, please see http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/klamath/alerts-notices.

Approximately 75 percent of the 1.7 million acre Klamath National Forest remains open to forest adventures.


If heavy smoke is present, people who are more vulnerable should take precautions and avoid prolonged or heavy outside activity. People should keep in mind smoke conditions can change quickly. Individuals at risk should consult their healthcare provider for evaluation of their best course of action and protective measures. A Clean Air Respite Center is located at the Karuk Tribe Senior Nutrition Center in Happy Camp (64101 Second Avenue). The center is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily and will remain open longer if needed due to smoky conditions.

Air quality:

Smoke conditions will be similar to yesterday, however expect more smoke in communities southeast of the fires. Smoke will be pushed to the south in the morning hours and to the southeast by mid-afternoon. Today is forecasted to be warmer and drier which may increase fire activity and result in greater smoke production. For air-quality details, visit http://californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com/