Monday, August 27, 2018

Mill Creek Fire at 74 Percent Containment

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2018 at 10:02 AM

click to enlarge mill_fire.jpg
The Mill Creek Fire, which has burned nearly 3,700 acres as it enters its second week, is now 74 percent contained.

State Route 96 between Weitchpec and Hoopa remains closed to traffic except for escorted trips three times a day, when fire activity allows for safe travel. Meanwhile, air quality is expected to improve in the coming days but remains in the "unhealthy" zone for Orleans, Weitchpec, Bald Hill, Willow Creek and Hoopa.

For updated information, visit the wildfire smoke forecast website here.

A $10,000 reward has been offered for information on the fire, which officials say was caused by arson.

Read the Mill Creek Fire Interagency Management Team release below:
FIRE UPDATE - OPERATIONS: The fire is now 74% contained. Resources will continue to monitor the south and southwest areas of the fire to ensure that any hotspots are put out with no chance of threatening the line or the Hoopa Valley. In the north and northeast sections crews and engines will continue to mop-up and increase the width of containment lines. Crews will begin rehabilitation of firelines, and start to return hoses and equipment back to camp. In the coming days, resources no longer needed for the fire will be reassigned to support other fires throughout the nation or return home to prepare for their next assignment.

HIGHWAY 96: California State Highway 96 is closed from Bull Creek to Mill Creek due to fire behavior. Traffic is being redirected through Dowd Road. Firefighter and public safety is our number one concern. Highway 96 is a main thoroughfare connecting the rural communities of northern California. When it is safe to do so, the highway accepts limited travel provided by a pilot car at 7:00 a.m. 12:00 (noon) and 6:00 p.m. Yesterday, traffic flow at the three designated times did not suffer any delays. As soon as the hazard of trees and other debris falling into the highway is mitigated, the road will reopen to the public.

WEATHER: Today the area around the fire will see temperatures climb into the 80s with lows in the 50s tonight. Relative humidity will drop to around 30% this afternoon. North to Northeast winds can be expected in the overnight and morning hours with West to Northwest winds in the afternoon and evening hours.

Air Quality: Air quality measured Moderate (Yellow) to Unhealthy (Red) across the valley on Sunday. With containment of the fire growing each day the smoke situation is improving. You can find a description of the Air Quality Index at this site: wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/HoopaValley-EurekaArea.

Attention - The Mill Creek 1 Fire was caused by arson on Tribal lands near Hoopa, California. There is a $10,000 reward offered for information regarding the fire. Calls will be taken on an anonymous hotline by calling 1-800-468-4402.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Hoopa Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/HoopaOES/ or check fire updates for Mill Creek 1, and throughout the country on Inciweb at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6161/.
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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