Friday, September 11, 2020

Red Salmon Complex Expected to Grow, Regional Air Quality Remains 'Unhealthy'

Posted By on Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 9:58 AM

click to enlarge Crews fight the Red Salmon Complex Fire. - WESTER WATER TENDERS/FACEBOOK
  • Wester Water Tenders/Facebook
  • Crews fight the Red Salmon Complex Fire.
Fire crews have made progress battling the Red Salmon Complex fires burning east of the Hoopa valley Reservation and north-east of Willow Creek, but warn “the fire is expected to burn until sustained wetting rain extinguishes it.”

The fire currently spans 77,848 acres in the Klamath, Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity national forests within Humboldt, Trinity and Siskiyou counties and is 19 percent contained. Crews spent yesterday evening doing some burning operations until the wind picked up, at which point they shifted to mop-up and holding operations through the night.

“Fire crew efforts will be focused today on repositioning containment lines to prevent fire spreading towards both the community of Forks of Salmon and towards Highway 93,” an incident update states. “Fire behavior predictions suggest that once the inversion lifts today, there is the potential for fire spread in all directions. … There is still a critical need for suppression resources to continue prepping existing lines and build new fire containment lines, as resources are stretched extremely thin throughout the state and Pacific Northwest.

An incident information page notes that fire behavior has increased significantly in recent days due to red flag conditions and "an abundance of fine and heavy fuels such as grass, understory timber and closed timber litter" coupled with low humidity. A noted above, the fire is expected to continue to burn until its dosed by a sustained rain. The National Weather Service forecast includes a chance of rain in the region beginning Monday.

Smoky skies are expected to continue to shroud the region, with “very unhealthy” conditions — meaning everyone should stay indoors and avoid prolonged exposure — expected in Orleans, Weitchpec, Hoopa and Willow Creek. On the coast in Eureka, meanwhile, conditions are expected to be “unhealthy,” meaning people within sensitive groups should avoid all outdoor activity and others should limit exposure.

See releases detailing air quality and an update on the Red Salmon Complex Fire below for more information.

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Thadeus Greenson

Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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