More air activity was needed Thursday morning on the Bradley Fire in Dunsmuir after fire “slopped over” the containment line on the northwest side during a windy night.
The air resources, including both a type 1 and type 3 helicopter, were available at Mott Airport, according to incident commanders Todd Mack and Drew Graham of the US Forest Service in Mount Shasta.
Five crews and seven engines were also on scene, and Graham said it looked good that they would be able to contain the extension of the fire to five acres.
Mack said the Bradley Fire, which started the night of Aug. 28, was “wind-tested” the night of Aug. 30-31. He said firefighters working the night shift reported sustained winds.
A slop-over, they explained, is when the fire extends through the containment line from inside, as opposed to the fire spreading because of spotting, which happens when hot embers ignite an area outside the line.
Mack said more safety precautions were taken with where firefighters were located during the third night, after a line had been created around the fire, because of the Bradley Fire’s dangerous conditions, including steep terrain, snags and rolling rocks.
Graham said air resources were available nearby Wednesday, but were not needed on the Bradley Fire. They were used Wednesday, however, to help quickly put out a small wildfire on the Snowman Hill summit on Highway 89 between Mount Shasta and McCloud.
He said those air resources were still available early Thursday morning to deal with the fire that got through the Bradley containment line.
Though a line has been created all around the fire, it was considered to be only 35 percent contained as of Thursday morning because of the continuing need to secure the line, Graham said. Most of it is holding well, he said, but is not yet 100 percent secure.
“It was a lot of hard work holding it to 50 acres,” Mack said of the fire that started just above the Dunsmuir Little League field and burned up the hill to the west of town. “We were fortunate to get everything we needed as quickly as we did.”
The cause of the Bradley Fire is under investigation.