Northern California fire updates: Coffee Creek evacuates as River Complex spreads; Monument Fire forces Hyampom Road area to evacuate
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Portions of Trinity and Siskiyou counties are under new evacuation orders and warnings after three fires continued to spread over the weekend into Tuesday.
In the latest orders, the Trinity County Sheriff's Office asked residents to leave portions of Coffee Creek due to the growing threat from the River Complex of fires as flames spread to the west into Trinity and to east into Siskiyou.
The evacuations are along "Highway 3 north from the Trinity River CG to Ramshorn Road. West of Ramshorn Road to the Trinity Alps Wilderness, south to Billys Peak. Billys Peak east to North Derrick Flat Road. This area includes Billys Peak Road, and Eagle Creek Loop Road, and Ripple Creek Cabins." Residents can evacuate by using Highway 3 south out of the Coffee Creek area.
The temporary evacuation shelter is at the First Baptist Church in Weaverville.
The evacuation orders are due to strong, dry winds.
"The main body of Haypress Fire that was established in Sugar Pine Creek has spread rapidly and jumped Coffee Creek Road, west of the community of Coffee Creek in a northeasterly and easterly direction south of Billy’s Peak and is threatening Coffee Creek and the Eagle Creek Loop Areas," according to the Klamath National Forest.
Meanwhile, the Monument Fire burning in Trinity County spotted and reached Hyampom Road on Monday, prompting the sheriff's office to tell residents to leave the areas:
- Along Hyampom Road from Lucky Jeep Trail, east along both sides of Hyampom Road to Drink Water Gulch. Also included in the order are Fox Lane, Drink Water Gulch and Phares Lane.
The Monument Fire grew about 400 acres on Tuesday. It had burned through 185,919 acres and was 42% contained, the U.S. Forest Service said Tuesday night.
Crews on Tuesday will work to build containment lines around the 300-acre spot fire south of Nine-Mile Bridge and to protect any structures south of Hyampom Road, officials said.
Firefighters are also concerned about the north side of the fire in the Trinity Alps Wilderness.
“Suppression efforts are being implemented to protect the Trinity Alps Wilderness, the Trinity Wild and Scenic River, Inventoried Roadless Areas, and endangered species habitat,” the Forest Service said in its Tuesday morning update.
There are nearly 2,470 firefighters and other personnel battling the lightning-caused Monument Fire, which started July 30.
The River Complex sparked by lightning July 30 in the Klamath National Forest grew more than 14,000 acres from Monday to Tuesday.
That fire triggered evacuation orders in the Trinity County community of Coffee Creek just west of the Trinity River.
The Antelope Fire in Siskiyou County escaped control on Monday and spotted in Pumice Mountain Road near Red Cap Mountain, an area east of Highway 97 between Dorris and Mount Shasta.
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"It became established and with intense fire behavior, including single and group torching, quickly became a running crown fire. It ran for about four miles," the Klamath National Forest said in its daily update.
There are 19 active fires in California. The Dixie Fire, which continues to threaten thousands of residents in small mountain communities in Plumas, Lassen and Shasta counties, was approaching the grim milestone of a million acres scarred. As of Tuesday, California fires have blazed through 2,033,916 acres.
Other wildfires in Northern California:
Antelope Fire in Siskiyou County: 73,558 acres and 83% contained as of Tuesday night. The fire grew more than 1,000 acres Monday, which prompted authorities to order evacuations for the Medicine Lake area east of the fire.
Caldor Fire in El Dorado County: 217,007 acres and 50% contained as of Tuesday night.
Dixie Fire in Plumas, Butte, Tehama, Lassen and Shasta counties: 919,300 acres and 59% contained as of Tuesday night.
Knob Fire in Humboldt County: 2,414 acres and 89% contained as of Tuesday night.
McFarland Fire burning in Shasta and Trinity County: 122,653 acres and 98% contained. Last updated Friday.
McCash Fire in Klamath National Forest: 59,049 acres and 15% contained as of Tuesday night.
Monument Fire in Trinity County: 185,919 acres and 42% contained as of Tuesday night.
River Complex in Klamath National Forest: 135,689 acres and 19% contained as of Tuesday night.
David Benda covers business, development and anything else that comes up for the USA TODAY Network in Redding. He also writes the weekly "Buzz on the Street" column. He’s part of a team of dedicated reporters that investigate wrongdoing, cover breaking news and tell other stories about your community. Reach him on Twitter @DavidBenda_RS or by phone at 1-530-225-8219. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today.