Monday, September 28, 2020

UPDATE: Blocksburg, Fort Seward, Alderpoint Residents Urged to Prepare Now to Move Livestock, Other Animals

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2020 at 1:13 PM

click to enlarge Firefighters hold the line during a burning operation on the northwest flank of the August Complex North Zone on Sept. 26, 2020. These firefighters are positioned with the job of looking into the unburned forest while watching for spot fires created by embers floating across the control line in the wind. This way they can quickly respond to these spotfires to contain them. - PHOTO CREDIT: MIKE MCMILLAN/USFS.
  • Photo Credit: Mike McMillan/USFS.
  • Firefighters hold the line during a burning operation on the northwest flank of the August Complex North Zone on Sept. 26, 2020. These firefighters are positioned with the job of looking into the unburned forest while watching for spot fires created by embers floating across the control line in the wind. This way they can quickly respond to these spotfires to contain them.
UPDATE:

The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services is urging residents in the 
areas of Blocksburg, Fort Seward and Alderpoint to make plans now to move livestock and domestic animals in preparation for a possible Evacuation Order.

For questions related to Humboldt County Evacuation Warnings call 707-268-2500.

PREVIOUS:

Fire officials are warning that conditions are apt for another “dynamic day” on the North Zone of the August Complex, which forced the evacuation of Ruth Lake and other areas and put swaths of Southern Humboldt County on alert.

Chris Moore, a fire behavior analyst, gave a blunt assessment during a morning briefing, saying conditions on the ground today are just as potent as yesterday and “everyone needs to pay attention to where they are.”
Incident commander Norm McDonald said there is fire in and around Ruth Lake and structures were impacted but the number was unknown. The same applies to the area of Forest Glen He emphasize that it was “very important” for anyone in an evacuation zone to leave.

“It’s for your safety and for firefighters’ safe,” McDonald said, noting that those who remain behind can hinder air suppression and other means of combatting the blaze.

The closure for State Route 36 now extends from the Humboldt County line on the west to the junction with Bowman Road on the east.

On Sunday, live embers were documented landing 8 miles ahead of the active fire front, according to this morning's North Zone update, igniting spot fires beyond control lines east of Forest Glen, north of State Route 36, and west of South Fork Mountain.

"The fires advanced to Ruth Lake and to the west side of the lake by afternoon," the update states. "Crews are responding to the spot fires as conditions permit, working through the night. Firefighters continue to focus on firefighter and public safety, as well as point protection for structures."

Last night, the Office of Emergency Services put residents in Southern Humboldt on evacuation warnings, noting around 10 p.m. that those could very well translate into evacuation orders today.

Those under warnings are:
All communities east of Alderpoint Road, spanning south from Showers Pass Road to Harris Road, and all communities east of Harris Road spanning south from Alderpoint Road to Pipe Creek are now included in an evacuation warning due to conditions related to the August Complex North Zone.

Areas east of Alderpoint Road to the Trinity County border and south of Showers Pass Road to Mountain Creek due to rapidly evolving wildfire conditions related to the August Complex North Zone. Areas east of Bell Springs Road to the Trinity County border and south of Pipe Creek to the Mendocino County border due to rapidly evolving wildfire conditions related to the August Complex West Zone.
click to enlarge hcoes.jpg

A red flag warning for the region remains in effect until 9 p.m. Monday, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service, and temperatures are expected to heat up on the coast as well as inland.


For questions related to Humboldt County Evacuation Warnings call 707-268-2500.

Information from OES:
An evacuation warning means that there is potential threat to life and property and prepares people for a potential Evacuation Order. Residents should prepare for potential evacuations, including personal supplies and overnight accommodations. A map of evacuation warning zones is available at humboldtgov.org/evacmap or humboldtsheriff.org.

RESOURCES FOR THE COMMUNITY
The American Red Cross-Gold Country Region is available to assist fire evacuees with sheltering resources. Evacuees in need of these resources should call 530-276-8034.

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

American Red Cross Virtual Temporary Evacuation Point: 530-276-8034

August Complex West Zone Fire Information Line (Cal Fire): 707-355-4926 August Complex North Zone Fire Information Line (USFS): 530-628-0039

For more information regarding the August Complex Fire’s current impact on Humboldt County and current evacuation areas, please go to humboldtsheriff.org, or visit @HumCoOES on Facebook and Twitter.

August Complex North Zone Update:
(Redding, CA) – Wind gusts continue to push the fire west, prompting evacuation orders to the Trinity County line and evacuation warnings in Humboldt County.

High winds are forecast throughout the day today, with gusts exceeding 30 miles per hour and potentially accelerating down the west slope of South Fork Mountain, threatening communities to the west and north. The Ruth Valley and Mad River Valley are aligned to funnel the forecast winds and encourage fire spread in these areas. Residents are urged to comply with evacuation orders and to stay out of the area. Many roads are impassable due to fire and fallen trees.

The fire remains extremely active; winds are carrying embers well beyond containment lines, and there is high potential for the fire to develop an active plume. As fire activity increases with the winds and the heat of the day, large smoke columns are expected to form. Like thunderheads, columns build and then collapse. Collapsing columns are extremely dangerous, violently forcing winds outward, carrying fire and live embers far and wide.

Extreme conditions are forecast into the evening; the Red Flag Warning is expected to end by 9pm. Live embers were documented landing 8 miles ahead of the active fire front on Sunday. Spot fires ignited beyond control lines east of Forest Glen, north of State Route 36, and west of South Fork Mountain. The fires advanced to Ruth Lake and to the west side of the lake by afternoon. Crews are responding to the spot fires as conditions permit, working through the night.

Firefighters continue to focus on firefighter and public safety, as well as point protection for structures. New closures include all roads in Van Duzen, Mad River, Ruth, and Hettenshaw areas. Ruth Zenia Road is closed east of the US Forest Service Zenia Guard Station. The closure for State Route 36 now extends from the Humboldt County line on the west to the junction with Bowman Road on the east.

New evacuation orders include Mad River, Lower Mad River Road, Zenia, and Kettenpom. Smoke will likely move back into the region in the next day or two, calming fire behavior. Hot, dry weather will persist with prime conditions for continued fire growth. The winds are presently aiding containment work on the east flank. Crews continue to hold and improve the fireline, preparing for the return of seasonal winds from the southwest.
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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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