North Complex Claims More Lives, Fires Kill 24 Statewide

Thousands of firefighters are on the lines of more than two dozen major California wildfires that have scorched 5,000 square miles. The known death toll stands at 24 and more than 4,200 structures have been destroyed statewide. All National Forests in California are closed. Cal-Fire says Red Flag warnings have returned to the northeastern portion of the state due to a combination of gusty winds and low humidity that could continue through much of the week.

The Bear Fire, or “North Complex West Zone” in Plumas and Butte Counties is part of the 264,600 acre North Complex along with the Sheep and Claremont Fires. There have been 15 civilian fatalities confirmed as vast areas are under evacuation orders. Seven people remain missing. 608 homes have been destroyed in Berry Creek, Feather Falls and other communities northeast of Lake Oroville. Overall containment is estimated at 39%.

The Slater Fire that started last Monday in the Klamath National Forest is being managed along with the Devil’s Fire with a total size of 136,000 acres. It’s only 10% contained. All of Happy Camp and surrounding communities are evacuated. Hundreds of homes have been lost and at least 2 civilians have died. Much of the Slater Fire is burning in Oregon.

19,600 acres on the eastern flank of the August Lightning Complex is now being managed by Cal-Fire. The remainder of the August Lightning Complex is under federal or unified command, with the southern portion covering 755,600 acres with 30% containment and the northern part covering 255,300 acres with 29% containment.

The Red Salmon Complex in the Trinity Alps Wilderness about 14 miles northeast of Willow Creek has expanded to 91,700 acres, prompting evacuation orders. Containment has been reduced to 16%.