Friday, September 11, 2020

Hopkins Fire Holding East of Main Eel River with Chance of Rain Forecast

Posted By on Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 9:23 AM

The Elkhorn Fire from the Mad River Ranger Station. - INCIWEB
  • InciWeb
  • The Elkhorn Fire from the Mad River Ranger Station.
UPDATE:
The U.S. Forest Service just announced that the fires known as the Elkhorn, Hopkins, Willow, Vinegar and August Complex have all burned together and will be known going forward as the August Complex. For clarity, the large fire complex will be split into three zones: North, South and West. The complex’s West zone is the one currently threatening structures in Southern Humboldt County.

See the U.S Forest Service’s press release explaining the name change below our original post.

PREVIOUSLY:
“This place looks a world different than it did yesterday,” said Cal Fire’s Jeremy Ward, Fire Captain Specialist, who is working out of Alderpoint, this morning.
The reasons to be optimistic are threefold – firefighters are still successfully holding Hopkins Fire east of the Main Stem of the Eel River, new resources are pouring into the area, and some rain is predicted next week.

Ward told us that though there was a little “slopover” of the fire on the Zenia Lake Mountain Road near the town of Kettenpom, firefighters are getting a handle on it. He added that although there were news reports elsewhere that the fire had crossed the Main Stem of the Eel River that wasn’t true. Firefighters were keeping flames to the east of there and the fire had not yet crossed into Humboldt County.

The sound of heavy equipment being moved provided background music to the conversation we had with Ward who told us, “Cal Fire Incident Management Team is bringing in a whole team with lots of resources to fight the fire.” He pointed to the sound of heavy equipment as indicative of resources now available.

And, to add to Ward’s good news, according to the National Weather Service, “There is a chance of measurable rain as early as Monday, especially for Del Norte County. Those probabilities increase everywhere on Tuesday. These charts, based on 3 ensemble forecast systems, indicate low chances for rain lingering toward the latter portion of next week as well.”

click to enlarge Rain Chart from the National Weather Service in Eureka.
  • Rain Chart from the National Weather Service in Eureka.

Still, the fire is continuing to threaten structures and evacuations are in place. The Hopkins and the Elkhorn Fires (as well as others) have burned together and burned into the August Complex. The fire in Trinity County and threatening to mow through Southern Humboldt is now considered part of the largest fire in California history–the August Complex.

click to enlarge “This was last night just past the Eel River Work Center on FH7. Sad that the #AugustComplex fire is the largest in recorded history.” - MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT]
  • Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department]
  • “This was last night just past the Eel River Work Center on FH7. Sad that the #AugustComplex fire is the largest in recorded history.”
That Complex which is burning in multiple counties is now 746,607 Acres and 25% contained. For perspective, the previous largest fire in California History was the 2018 Mendocino Complex which was 410,203 acres.
We will update here throughout the day as needed.

The Plan:
Firefighters will be trying to push the fire out of the Ruth Valley, protect structures in Kettenpom, and continue keeping the flames east of the Main Stem of the Eel River.


The Weather:
A heavy blanket of smoke is covering the area. Temperature highs will be in the mid-70’s. A slight wind will pick up in the afternoon. The National Weather Service is predicting some rain next week.

The Roads:
Here is the latest information: Information on Highways Closed Due to Fires

The Maps:

Public Information Map:

click to enlarge pio-august-complex-9.11.png

Operations Map:

click to enlarge elkhorn-north-9.11.png

KMZ Map:

click to enlarge elkhorn-north-9.11-kmz-map.png

Evacuation Area information:
Trinity County: Zenia, Kettenpom, Hettenshaw Valley, and all areas south of Ruth.
Mendocino County: Evacuation Updates for Covelo Area
Humboldt County: Evacuation Warning Area Expanded for SoHum

USEFUL Information:

Animal evacuation in Humboldt: “If you have a need to evacuate animals please contact the Humboldt County Fairgrounds to arrange for drop off. HCF is also arranging for trailers if needed to transport animals. Please call 707-496-8841.

Evacuation place for Humboldt residents:

The Mateel Community Center located at 59 Rusk Lane will be open as an evacuation shelter this Wednesday afternoon and as needed. “Small pets are welcome with leashes outside the hall, no pets are allowed inside the hall due to potential allergy reactions for some individuals. For more information about the ongoing fire evacuation center located at the Mateel visit www.mateel.org."

As of noon Wednesday, the Humboldt County Fairgrounds has been designated as an Office of Emergency Services County-wide Evacuation Center for both human and livestock fire evacuees. Because of COVID, human evacuees need to have trailers and RV’s and/or tent campers.

Redwood Acres is preparing to take in fire evacuees, both livestock and those who have an RV or are willing to camp. There is a chance that the Red Cross may want to set up a station.

Fire Evacuation Information Line at 707-268-2500 for questions regarding current county evacuations and resources.

Evacuation place for Mendocino Residents-

Covelo High School for people (76280 High School Street)

The Laytonville rodeo grounds are open for livestock. They are located at Harwood Road Laytonville, call ahead at 707-984-8100 Harwood Hall is also open for residents feeling the Hopkins fire. They are located 44400 Willis Ave, Laytonville

You can listen to Trinity County Scanner by clicking here.

You can listen to Southern Humboldt County Scanner by clicking here.

You can listen to Mendocino County Scanner by clicking here.

Good fire and smoke info here. (Please remember the info here isn’t always up to date. If you are given an evacuation order, leave–no matter what this says.)

Water Station Open for Fire Evacuees at Rio Dell City Hall

The Humboldt Transit Authority is currently offering regular services to Southern Humboldt County.

Wildfire Evacuation Checklists:
15 minute packlist
30 minute backlist
Sixty and 120 minute packlist

Number to call for information on evacuation in Humboldt County=707-268-2500.

From the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services:

September 11, 2020 | Humboldt OES Hopkins Fire Response Daily Update
OES LOGO FINAL
Evacuation warnings and orders remain in effect for southern Humboldt County as fire crews work to contain the Hopkins Fire, just east of the county line. The Humboldt County Hopkins Fire Emergency Operations Center continues to staff a Fire Evacuation Information Line at 707-268-2500 for questions regarding current county evacuations and resources.

CURRENT SITUATION

As of 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11, the Hopkins Fire has not jumped the Eel River and has not entered Humboldt County. Fire crews continue working today to keep the fire east of the Eel River and out of the county away from populated areas. No containment estimate has been established.

The United States Forest Service has reclassified a portion of the Hopkins Fire as the August Complex West Zone, which is being managed by Cal Fire. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services will continue referring to this fire as the Hopkins Fire, until otherwise advised by Cal Fire.

NEW MAPPING TOOL

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services today released an interactive map of Humboldt County in relation to the Hopkins Fire (August Complex West Zone) incident, viewable at humboldtgov.org/evacmap.

The purpose of this map is to display evacuation zones, warning zones and other important resources related to the fire.

This map includes Temporary Evacuation Points, community centers, water stations, road closures and evacuation routes in addition to detailing the Evacuation Order Zones, Evacuation Warning Zones and approximate location of the Hopkins Fire (August Complex West Zone).

This map will continue to be updated with new information daily. Please ensure that you periodically refresh the map to view the latest version. The map is also available on the Humboldt County Sheriff’s web page (humboldtsheriff.org).

The search feature, indicated by the magnifying glass icon, allows users to input their address or the address of loved ones, and view in real time their physical location in reference to warning and evacuation zones.

The map is shareable via social media, email and text by clicking “share” on the upper left hand of the map text box.

*Disclaimer: this map does display Mendocino County fire information, which Humboldt County staff will update as available. For the most current map information for Mendocino County, visit https://tinyurl.com/MendoEvac/. County staff will also continue to update the location of the August Complex as quickly as possible. For the most current information, please visit the Inciweb page for this incident.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services would like to thank the Humboldt County Planning & Building for lending their skills and expertise in creating and updating this valuable map resource.

CURRENT EVACUATION INFORMATION

An EVACUATION ORDER remains in effect for the areas south of Highway 36 in Bridgeville, and all communities along Alderpoint Road down to the Mendocino / Trinity County Line. No time estimate has been given for the lifting of this order.

An EVACUATION WARNING remains in effect for all areas west of Bell Springs Road to Highway 101 spanning from Elk Creek Road / Dyerville Loop Road to the Mendocino / Trinity County Line in Southern Humboldt County. No time estimate has been given for the lifting of this warning.

Maps of evacuation zones and routes are available at humboldtgov.org/evacmap or humboldtsheriff.org

Evacuation order and warning decisions are determined by Cal Fire. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services will notify residents of new orders or warnings via Humboldt Alert, online at humboldtsheriff.org and on the HumCoOES social media pages.

CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS

Alderpoint Road and Bell Springs Road remain closed within the Evacuation Order area.

Residents are encouraged to visit http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ to check for state highway closures.

RESOURCES FOR THE COMMUNITY

A Temporary Evacuation Point remains active at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds, located at 1250 5th St in Ferndale, for evacuees from Southern Humboldt County seeking resources. Resources available at this location include:

Free car/tent camping,
Low-cost RV parking sites,
Large animal boarding,
Restrooms,
Water,
Red Cross services.
Small animal boarding is now available for fire evacuees.

The Humboldt Transit Authority is currently offering regular services to Southern Humboldt County.

The City of Rio Dell has opened a free water station, located at 675 Wildwood Avenue in Rio Dell, for evacuees in need of water.

Other community resources have self-organized to assist fire evacuees. Please reach out to those resources directly for more information.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

County residents are encouraged to sign up for Humboldt Alert at humboldtgov.org/alerts.

For more information regarding the Hopkins Fire, current impact and evacuation areas, please go to humboldtsheriff.org and visit @HumCoOES on Facebook and Twitter, or call 707-268-2500.

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For the latest Hopkins Fire information: humboldtsheriff.org

Facebook and Twitter: @HumCoOES

Instagram: @HumboldtSheriff



From the U.S. Forest Service:


Fires combined into the August Complex

Redding, CA – As of today, September 11, 2020, the fires known as the Elkhorn, Hopkins, Willow, Vinegar and the August Complex will now collectively be known as the August Complex. These fires have all burned together. The August Complex will be split into three zones: North, South and West. The intent is to simplify the coordination of effort, ordering and timely release of accurate information.

The August Complex will be managed under unified incident command between California Interagency Incident Management Team-Young (North Zone), Great Basin Team-DeMasters (South Zone) and CAL FIRE Team-Parkes (West Zone).

The California fire siege, which began on August 15, 2020, has burned more than 2.5 million acres with firefighters responding to 7,657 fires. The collective August Complex alone has burned more than 726,000 acres. The fire is actively burning in the Shasta-Trinity, Mendocino, and Six Rivers National Forests and continues to threaten homes and communities within Humboldt, Mendocino, and Lake counties. Monitor your local news outlets, fire department, forest and county social media outlets for current updates and evacuation notices.

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Kym Kemp

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Kym Kemp is the editor and publisher of the news website Redheaded Blackbelt at www.kymkemp.com.

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