Antelope Fire is 30 nautical miles from McCloud, 30% contained

Shareen Strauss
Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers
Operation Chief Mike Davis explains on Aug. 22, 2021 the Forest Service's firefighting efforts in containing the Antelope Fire, which is currently 30% contained on day 22 and is threatening the town of McCloud.

The lightning-caused Antelope Fire is now 30% contained and is 30 miles away from McCloud, citizens learned at a community meeting held at McCloud High School Sunday evening. Representatives from the Shasta-Trinity and Klamath national forests, Cal Fire, McCloud Fire Department and the Red Incident Team were there to share information about the fire, which started Aug. 1 near the community of Tennant.

Over 100 people from the McCloud and Shasta Forest Subdivision attended the meeting.

Surrounded by McCloud and Cal Fire firefighters who answered questions, more than 100 residents from the McCloud area met at the high school for information on the Antelope Fire, which is threatening the town of McCloud, on Aug. 22, 2021.

Meteorologist John Pendergrass talked about the short-term weather conditions, which are good with predictable weather, he said. Milder temperatures and light winds from the west are expected over the next week, Pendergrass said. Long-term, over a 10-day period, the winds will pick up from the east and temperatures will increase. No rain is expected into September. 

Forest Service Firefighter Greg Titus explained the fuels and rough terrain, coupled with record low humidity and the possibility of tree torching can cause embers to create spot fires. The reprieve in weather this coming week will minimize fire behavior, but things could pick up along the edges of the fire next week, Titus said.

Operation Chief Mike Davis said ground crews are working diligently. They have dozer lines on the east side with direct and indirect lines (hose crew and dozer lines) keeping the fire from moving on the south end. The west and northwest sides are being contained. There are both type 1 and type 2 helicopters working the fire now. Because there are four separate fires in Shasta-Trinity National Forest, resources are limited. 

Shasta-Trinity District Ranger Carolyn Napper reported that there are 150 miles of dozer lines on the Antelope Fire. 

Surrounded by McCloud and Cal Fire firefighters who answered questions, more than 100 residents from the McCloud area met at the high school for information on the Antelope Fire, which is threatening the town of McCloud, on Aug. 22, 2021.

Residents were advised to sign up for Code Red Alert on their phones to be alerted for evacuations by the Siskiyou County Office of Emergency Services and other local departments.

McCloud is not under an evacuation order, but people in the area were warned to be ready and have important papers, medicines, and clothing packed and at the ready. Pet carriers are also handy to have on hand.

A big concern for people living in the Shasta Forest Subdivision is the limited number of exit routes, since Pilgrim Creek Road has been closed due to flooding of Mud Creek. There is only one exit on a dirt road through the Shasta Wilderness Estates: Esperanza Road. 

Napper said the Forest Service is working to get Esperanza Road paved, perhaps as soon as next month. 

District 1 county supervisor Brandon Criss, who represents the McCloud area, said Siskiyou County participated in helping to create a 211 helpline.

"Dial 211 or go to the website 211norcal.org to have any questions about fires and evacuation answered. The 211 helpline will also offer social services and  animal shelters that are available," Criss said.