Day 39 Smith River Complex Fire - Saturday August 19, 2023

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Good Update/Report From Curry/Brookings/Carpenterville Citizen - Lee Riddle

Northern California - SRF Smith River Complex ~ Gasquet Ranger District of the Six Rivers National Forest (SRF)
Acres; Over 13,000 - Containment; 0% - Status; Very Active

SMITH RIVER FIRE COMPLEX 16 hours ago · Aug 18, 10:57 AM

Morning update from incident management:

There are 12 confirmed fires on the Gasquet Ranger District with an estimated acreage of 7,593 acres. Local resources have been focusing on identifying
the locations of the fires and triaging suppression efforts on those posing the highest risk to life and property.

A community meeting will be held on Saturday, August 19 at 6pm at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds in the Arts & Crafts building. The meeting will be available virtually via Facebook Live hosted by the Six Rivers National Forest Facebook page.

The transition of the management of the Smith River Complex from the local unit to the California Incident Management Team 15 occurred at 6:00 am this morning. The objectives of the incident will remain the same with the priority of focusing fire suppression efforts on the protection of the life and property
being threatened by the 14 uncontrolled wildfires within the complex.
The weather pattern is forecasted to be like yesterday. Seasonable conditions are expected with temperatures reaching approximately 90 degrees with minimum humidity around 30%. One possible change is the increase of wind speeds in the afternoon and evening hours as the weather pattern
begins to shift. Dry and abundant fuels, extremely steep terrain, and resource shortages caused by the high number of recently ignited fires in northern California continue to challenge firefighting efforts.

Additional resources, including water-dropping helicopters, are expected to arrive to the fire today and will be deployed along the Highway 199 corridor in an effort to minimize the impact of the fires to critical infrastructure. One just showed up 3:30 PM, see below


Evacuation orders have been placed by the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office, if
you are in the area please sign up for their Community Alert System to receive emergency notifications. Evacuation levels as of 6:45pm, today August 17 are as follows: Level 3 “Go Now”: Patrick Creek, Little Jones Creek, Copper Creek Drainage, Coon Creek/ 16n19 17n07, Washington
Flat, Pioneer Road, Panther Flat Campground Area Level 2 “Be Set”: High Divide, Rowdy Creek, Gasquet from Pioneer Road to Slant Bridge Level 1 “Be Ready”: French Hill, Big Flat/Rock Creek, Low Divide, Hiouchi from Slant Bridge to the east end of North Bank

Road Closures

County roads: 316, Shelly Creek, 315 Holiday Mine, 311 Old Gasquet Toll Road,
305 Weimer Road Forest Service Roads 16N19 and 17N07 U.S. Highway 199 remains fully closed in Del Norte County from Pioneer Road to Oregon Mountain Road (PM 16 to 31) due to the fires and there is no estimated time of reopening.

A hard closure is in place on U.S. 199 at the Agriculture Station near the Oregon border. For the latest road conditions please visit

All U.S. Forest Service campgrounds in the area remain closed.
The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds (421 US-101 N, Crescent City, CA 95531) for those who are impacted. Red Cross disaster workers are partnering with local officials to help ensure evacuees get the assistance they need and will be providing meals and snacks, access to comfort kits and other supplies.

A Type 1 Heli Bucket showed up late yesterday on the 18th!!!

Redwood Highway Remains Closed as US Forest Service Battles Smith River Complex

It appears the main route between Southern Oregon and the coast will remain closed for the foreseeable future as lightning-sparked wildfires have made US Highway 199 impassable.

The Six Rivers National Forest received approximately 150 lightning strikes this week, resulting in at least 27 confirmed fires. There are 16 confirmed fires in the Gasquet Ranger District with an estimated acreage of 7,300 acres.

The Smith River Complex is burning in extremely rugged terrain with limited access. A year of below-average rainfall has the vegetation unseasonably dry, causing a high resistance to suppression efforts.

California Interagency Management Team 15 has assumed command of the Smith River Complex that is threatening numerous communities, highly-used travel corridors, critical transmission lines, and other natural and cultural resources.

The Del Norte County Sheriff's Office has placed several evacuation orders for affected communities. A Level 3 "Go Now" order is in effect for Patrick Creek, Little Jones Creek, Copper Creek Drainage, Coon Creek, Pioneer Road, Panther Flat Campground and Washington Flat. The American Red Cross has opened an evacuation shelter at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds in Crescent City.

US Highway 199 remains fully-closed in Del Norte County from the Oregon border to Pioneer Road near Gasquet. The Oregon Department of Transportation is encouraging motorists to use Highway 42 and 42S to reach US Highway 101. No other routes should be taken due to wildfire suppression activity and road hazards.

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Firefighters Find Success with Aggressive Response to New Starts 8.18.23

Cloud to ground lightning strikes on the High Cascades Ranger District resulted in a new start yesterday. The Pole fire was met with a robust and aggressive initial response from air and ground resources, including The Siskiyou Rappel Crew, numerous engines and Crew 62. Fire resources quickly converged on the fire and held it at ¼ of an acre. Fire personnel will continue to work the fire through the coming days to ensure no additional fire activity comes from this start.

Control of The Red Fire incident was returned to the Klamath National Forest yesterday mid shift and crews and engines that responded to that fire have returned to their duty stations for Initial Attack coverage.

Resources are engaged at The Mile Fire on the Wild Rivers RD and is expected to be controlled within the next few shifts.

Smoke will continue to impact communities in the region to varying degrees depending on wind and weather conditions. The latest smoke impacts and air quality can be found here:

Lightning is forecast again for various areas of SW Oregon with continued hot temperatures and heavy smoke impacts in the valley from neighboring fires.

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Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-382, Salem, Oregon 97301