Dry conditions, hot temperatures and wind are making it difficult for firefighters to contain lightning-caused blazes throughout the north state, including the Little Deer Fire northeast of Weed, which has closed Highway 97.
The skies in Siskiyou County are smokey and residents woke up Sunday morning to see a sprinkling of ash on their vehicles as lightning-cause wildfires continue to burn all around.
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has issued an emergency proclamation, secured FEMA grants, and directed the National Guard to order two specialized firefighting C-130J aircraft and crews from the California Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing to state active-duty status.
The Governor’s emergency proclamation includes the counties of Siskiyou, Shasta, Modoc, Mendocino, Lassen, Humboldt, Butte, El Dorado, Amador, Madera, and Mariposa.
The announcement of the proclamation refers to the thousands of acres burning and destruction of homes and other structures and damage to critical infrastructure.
The Little Deer Fire has forced the closure of Highway 97 from 12 miles north of Weed to 2 miles south of Mt. Hebron. A large cloud of smoke from the fire north of Grass Lake near Little Deer Mountain could be seen from the city of Mount Shasta Saturday night. See updates at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4038/
The July Complex, including the Whites, Log and Leef fires in northern Siskiyou County, had grown to 5,523 acres as of Sunday morning. See: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4035/
As of late Saturday night, CAL FIRE reported that the Oregon Gulch Fire, part of the Beaver Complex, had moved east, pushed by erratic gusty winds, deeper into Klamath County. A Level 3 evacuation order was issued for Klamath River canyon, from John C. Boyle Dam to the California border.
Previously, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office issued a Level 3 evacuation from Copco Dam north to the state line on the Klamath River.
The Oregon Gulch Fire, which began July 30 about 15 miles east of Ashland, Ore., had consumed nearly 32,000 acres across the two states as of Saturday night, threatening structures and causing evacuations in the area.
The Beaver Fire is burning on the Klamath National Forest off the Beaver Creek Road, north of Highway 96 near Klamath River. It was listed at 7,001 acres Sunday morning. Residents in the Beaver Creek were issued a mandatory evacuation notice Saturday.
The Coffee Creek Fire, southwest of Mount Shasta in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, had grown to 1,800 acres as of Saturday night. Smoke from the fire spread into southern Siskiyou County beginning Friday afternoon. Aircraft dropped more than 40,000 gallons of retardants and more than 19,000 gallons of water on the fire, according to a report on the inciweb site: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4031/
Red Cross volunteers opened three shelters Saturday, one each in Siskiyou, Shasta and Modoc counties, for those who are being forced to evacuate.
Shelters are located at Jackson Street School in Yreka, Fall River High School in McArthur and Adin Community Center in Adin.
The Eiler Fire burned across Highway 89 in the Hat Creek area, north of Lassen National Park and forced the closure of campgrounds in the area and part of the Pacific Crest Trail. It had burned 7,029 acres as of Saturday night and forced the evacuation of homes in the area.
Like the Eiler Fire, the Bald Fire is burning in Lassen National Forest and was listed at 26,205 acres Saturday night.
The Day Fire, near the community of Day northeast of Fall River Mills,
A mandatory evacuation was put in place for homes in the Lookout Ranchettes, where the Day Fire was burning near the community of Day, northeast of Fall River Mills.