Bagley Fire now 90 percent contained

Carol Sunnucks

Firefighters who have been fighting a fire in Shasta-Trinity Forest since Aug. 18 acknowledged a moment of silence during their morning briefing Tuesday to honor the lives lost on September 11, 2001.

With the Bagley fire now 90 percent contained, many of the firefighting personnel have moved out of the area, some to return home and others relocated to other California wildfires. According to the Forest Service daily report, the number of personnel now fighting the fire has dropped from more than 1,300 down to 491.

To date, a total of 46,011-acres (72 square miles) have burned at a cost of nearly $31 million. There have been more than 650 flight hours reported, more than 1.5 million gallons of water and 348,000 gallons of fire retardant dropped on this fire. More than 565 people and about 62,500 pounds of cargo have been transported by air thus far.

Monday night, firefighters kept a close watch on the very steep, inaccessible fire edge in McCloud River and Hawkins Creek area.

“In those two areas, the fire will back down to near the water’s edge before the fire is fully contained,” the briefing stated, explaining that firefighters would continue those efforts to prevent the fire from spreading outside those containment lines.

Fire activity has been decreasing each day, but “there is much work yet to be done,” according to the report. There are still considerable miles of dozer lines, hand lines and roads needing work as a result of firefighting efforts. There have been 67.1 miles of dozer lines built during the last month, and each mile must be attended to with the use of heavy equipment like excavators, chippers and dozers, according to the Forest Service.

Also on Tuesday, management of the fire was handed over by California Interagency Incident Management Team 1 (McGowan) to South Central Sierra Incident Management Team (Cooper).

The fire is expected to be fully contained by Sept. 15.

Smoke, which has filled the air in communities around the fire for the past three weeks, has finally begun to subside with clear skies, sunshine and the full scope of Mt. Shasta now in full view again.

Local air quality conditions and forecasts are available at action=airnow.main.

For smoke conditions in McCloud, visit the Forest Service real time smoke monitor site at

Residents are encouraged to visit the “Protect Yourself from Smoke” website for smoke protection information at

For updates, maps and fire safety information, residents can visit or call 800-923-7316.

In a statewide fire summary report issued Tuesday morning, officials reported that “firefighters continued to build containment lines around the major fires burning in California. This morning three of the large wildfires, the 16 Complex, Fort Complex and Happy Fire are 100% contained.”

CAL FIRE continues to remind Californians that it’s this time of year when the state experiences the largest and most damaging wildfires. All residents are asked to have a wildfire checklist and an evacuation plan in place. To learn more visit

The Fort Complex in Siskiyou County which was started by lightning near Happy Camp, burned 23,653 acres and is now 100% contained. The Goff Fire in the Fort Complex had previously prompted a mandatory evacuation order for Seiad Valley residents.

Evacuations remain in effect for the Stafford Fire in Trinity County, approximately five miles southeast of Hayfork, which has burned 4,481 acres and is 75% contained.

The North Pass Fire in Mendocino County, northeast of Covelo, has burned 41,983 acres and is 97% contained.

Most recently a fire started Tuesday morning southeast of Castella, on the east side of I-5. The Ward Fire in Shasta County had burned 300 acres with no containment yet at last report Tuesday morning.

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For fires burning on federal land visit