Firefighters working on the Coffee Fire and two other smaller fires in the Trinity Alps Wilderness are facing challenging conditions, including near triple digit temperatures, steep terrain, wind, and critically low fuel moisture.
The lightning-caused Coffee Fire in the Trinity Alps Wilderness expanded from 300 acres Friday afternoon to 1,000 acres as of Saturday at noon – and a press release from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest paints a bleak picture of the challenges ahead.
Burning in timber and brush on steep terrain, crews were able to establish 5% containment, according to the release, but predicted weather for the fire area includes near triple digit temperatures, southeast winds gusting at eight miles per hour, and critically low fuel moisture.
Six crews, three engines, four helicopters, two air tankers, and 221 resources were working the fire, according to Saturday’s news release.
A large cloud of smoke from the Coffee Fire rose over the Eddys Friday afternoon and spread north and east across the Mt. Shasta area sky. A small cloud of smoke could be seen rising above the Eddys early Saturday afternoon.
“Resources are actively constructing line to prohibit the fire from impacting additional resources and wilderness,” the release states.
No evacuations have been needed, but the Forest Service says trail closures were pending as of Saturday at noon.
“The public is advised not to travel the Forest Service access roads 38N22 and 38N27 to the Stoddard Lake Trailhead off of County Route 3 due to the threat of wildfire to overtake the area. It is strongly recommended that the public avoid the East Fork of the Coffee Creek, Granite Creek, and the North Fork Coffee Creek Trail Systems.”
Public information for the fire will be posted around Weaverville, Coffee Creek and the Highway 3 corridor.
Information pertaining to the Coffee Fire can be found at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4031/
Two smaller fires
Firefighting resources are battling two smaller fires on rough, rugged terrain in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. as
The Rays Fire was burning in a previous fire scar in brush, downed timber and snags with active fire behavior and a moderate rate of spread, according to a Shasta-Trinity National Forest news release.
The fire was reported to be 15% contained at 25 acres in size as of noon Saturday.
The Shasta-Trinity National Forest said it will transfer command of the Rays Fire to the Klamath National Forest due to its proximity to the forest boundary and other active fires on the neighboring forest. Approximately 44 personnel are staffing the fire.
The Poison Fire, located near Deadman’s Peak, is estimated to be six acres, burning in timber and brush.
Approximately 24 personnel are staffing the fire.
Information about the fires can be found at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4025/
Information pertaining to preparing for a wildfire can be found at: www.readyforwildfire.org.
For more information on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest go to www.fs.usda.gov/stnf.