Fire Weather Watch May Impact Battle Against Northstate Fires

Containment on the North Complex of fires in Plumas and Butte Counties is improving, now estimated at 78%. 2,248 residential and commercial structures have been destroyed and 109 damaged, mostly in Berry Creek, Feather Falls and other communities northeast of Lake Oroville. There have been 15 confirmed fatalities and 2 injuries. The 304,500 acre complex includes the Bear Fire, or “North Complex West Zone”, along with the Sheep and Claremont Fires.

The north and south zones of the August Lightning Complex have merged together near the Mendocino/Trinity County line to form the largest fire in California history. The size now totals 862,700 acres with 38% overall containment. 21 structures have been destroyed and 2 have been damaged. The fire continues to move to the north and to the west. Crews continue to work on structure protection for the communities of Ruth Lake, Forest Glenn and Trinity Pines/Post Mountain. Crews are preparing for hot and dry conditions over the weekend.

The Slater Fire that started September 8th in the Klamath National Forest is being managed along with the Devil’s Fire with a total size of over 152,200 acres, part of it in Oregon. It’s 24% contained. Many evacuation levels have been reduced and Highways 199 and 96 have reopened. The Forest Service says at least 438 structures have been destroyed including 197 homes mostly in the Happy Camp area, as well as Indian Creek, which is still under evacuation orders. At least 2 civilians have died.

Crew fighting the Red Salmon Complex are hoping they can increase containment as rain is forecast for this weekend in parts of the fire zone. The fire has been burning since July 27th in the Trinity Alps Wilderness about 8 miles northeast of Willow Creek and has burned 108,200 acres. Containment is estimated at 27%. Containment has been very difficult in the extremely steep and rugged terrain. Forecasters say that portions of the fire will receive between 0.1 to 0.2 inches of rainfall.