Mill, Hoopa Valley

In Contained California Fires by YubaNet

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  • Incident Name: Mill, Hoopa Valley
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: HIA
  • Size (acres): 3,674
  • Percent Contained: 100%
  • Estimate of Containment: Sept. 5, 2018
  • Personnel: 286
  • Structures Destroyed: 0

Mill Creek 1, Hoopa Valley Tribe, BIA. Four miles southeast of Weitchpec, CA. Timber and chaparral. Minimal fire behavior. Energy and communication infrastructure threatened. Road, area and trail closures in effect.

September 1, 2018 at 9:38 AM

On Friday August 31st at 6:00 a.m., Great Basin Team 6 will transition management of the Mill Creek 1 Fire to a local Type 3 organization. The number of personnel assigned to the fire will continue to decrease due to successful firefighting efforts.We want to thank the communities of Hoopa, Weitchpec and Willow Creek, to the Hoopa Tribe and the Hoopa Fire Department for your support and hospitality during our assignment.

OPERATIONS: Resources will continue to check for hot spots, improve the line and improve roads in the fire area. Resources are being released to return to their home units in preparation for their next fire assignment.

The public should know that smoke will still be visible coming from the fire until there is a significant weather event. Until that time, fire may appear randomly during the day or night within the fire interior. This is normal, as fire will continue to burn. There is no need for you to call 911 unless there is a new emergency or fire in another area.

HIGHWAY 96 is currently open to the public. Firefighters are still working in the area and along the roadway. We would appreciate motorists to use caution when travelling through the section of Highway 96 affected by the Mill Creek 1 fire. Firefighters and fire engines may respond to emerging hazards along the highway. Please slow down and be cautious of firefighters especially around blind curves.

WEATHER: Today the area around the fire will see temperatures climb into the 80s to lower 90s. In the afternoon hours, typical gusty up canyon/northwesterly winds will develop across the fire. For tonight clear skies and light winds are anticipated.

Air Quality: For a current Air Quality Forecast youcan get your update by going to: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/NWCalifornia

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.

August 29, 2018 at 10:51 AM

The fire is now 79% contained. In the yet uncontained northeastern section, crews are working hard to secure the perimeter, improve containment lines and mop-up. In the south and southwestern areas, fire crews and engines will be working to ensure that any remaining hotspots are put out. Along the western perimeter, consisting of Highway 96, resources will patrol and extinguish any rolling debris falling onto the highway.

Rehabilitation of fire lines, hose and other equipment retrieval is already in progress. 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.

August 27, 2018 at 10:14 AM

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.

August 26, 2018 at 9:32 AM

Planned Actions
From the southeast to the northwestern sides of the fire, resources continue to patrol and mop-up as needed along completed line and roads, watching especially for roll-out along Highway 96 where burnout operations were completed. Active nighttime burning has brought the fire perimeter closer to containment lines in the northeast corner. However, steep slopes and heavy fuel loads will cause difficulty in holding along the 603 Road.

Projected Incident Activity
12 Hours: Daytime fire behavior has been moderated by daily inversions holding in smoke well into the day. If the weather conditions clear out the smoke, activity would increase and could prompt short runs, isolated torching and moderate-range spotting on multiple flanks.

24 Hours: Low to moderate humidity recoveries in mid- and upper-levels will contribute to continued burning in heavy fuels. Short duration crown runs in timber stands during night operations will continue to challenge containment lines.

Update: Hoopa Valley, late yesterday afternoon, saw the sky clear and blue skies overhead. This was the break in weather that allowed our helicopter resources to fly once again. Up until this time, for several days, air quality and visibility was extremely poor. It wasn’t safe to fly. However, late yesterday, the winds shifted and blew the smoke away. Hoopa Valley once again heard the chop of rotor blades as helicopters with buckets full of water, flew once again to suppress the Mill Creek 1 fire.

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. After the last group of vehicles had traveled along the road, a large old growth tree fell across the road. This was one of two that blocked access as rocks and other debris rolled down onto the highway. Because of this continued hazard, the 12:00 p.m. (noon) traffic was cancelled. However, by 6:00 pm the hazard subsided and vehicles were allowed once again to drive Highway 96 with an escort.

OPERATIONS: Today on the fire, containment lines have increased along the southern flank from Mill Creek road west and north along Highway 96. Firefighters will continue to patrol and secure this area. The northwestern and northeast corners have experienced increased fire activity. Ignitions operations have been used to corral the wildfire along logging roads and the Deerhorn road reducing further spread. Resources will continue to mop-up and further increase the width of containment lines. All fireline construction is being used to prevent further impacts to the timber management areas.

August 23, 2018 at 8:30 AM

If fire conditions permit, and we can safely provide an opportunity for the public to drive Highway 96, through the Mill Creek 1 Fire Road Closure, Interagency co-operators are going to provide three openings daily, each direction. This includes one trip south and one trip north. A pilot car will escort travelers through the fire area. Timeframes for this to occur: Please be on time or you will miss the opportunity. Timeframes: 7:00 a.m. 12:00 (noon) and 6:00 p.m. Shuttle times may be canceled or delayed due to fire behavior and fire control efforts. Due to fire operations this may change at any time. You must be there and ready to go.

Today, crews will work on the south end of the fire to prevent the fire from impacting the community of Hoopa. Resources will complete an indirect fireline on the north flank. Crews will prepare for future firing operations that will allow containment of the fire south of Deerhorn Road. A priority on the northeast flank is to prevent further impacts to the timber management areas. Where it is safe to do so, direct attack proceeds in areas where there are resources available. Burnout is continuing along Highway 96 that will keep the fire east of the highway and the Trinity River.

Smoke is an issue for those living in and around Hoopa Valley. You can find a detailed description of the Air Quality Index at this site: wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/HoopaValley-EurekaArea

California State Highway 96 is closed from Bull Creek to Mill Creek due to fire behavior. Traffic is being redirected through Dowd Road. This is for the safety of the public as well as for crews and aerial resources working on the fire. As soon as it is safe for public travel the highway will be reopened.

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.

August 22, 2018 at 10:23 AM

The fire was active last night. The fire made a significant run across Mill Creek Road, approximately 150 acres. Fire continued to back to the west toward Highway 96. Established containment lines around the rest of the fire held. Today, resources will use direct attack to catch the fire where it crossed at Mill Creek Road overnight. A structure protection group will begin working in the community today assisted by the Hoopa Valley Volunteer Fire Department. Resources will continue to hold the fire along Highway 96 keeping the fire east of the highway and the Trinity River.

Smoke is an issue for those living in and around Hoopa Valley. You can find a detailed description of the Air Quality Index at this site: wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/HoopaValley-EurekaArea . A resource advisor (ARA), assigned to the Team, will be doing smoke forecasting for Hoopa Valley and Eureka.  We want to encourage everyone who has issues with the level of smoke in the valley to stay inside or visit the clean air sites located in Hoopa. Smoke is driven by terrain-influenced winds that are unique to each location and valley. The current weather pattern is not expected to change in the next few days so the daily timing of peak impacts will not change but the magnitude may increase if the Mill Creek 1 and other wildfires continue to grow.

School will be delayed due to the closure of Highway 96. Please go to the school district website for further information.

California State Highway 96 is closed from Bull Creek to Mill Creek due to fire behavior. Traffic is being redirected through Dowd Road. This is for the safety of the public as well as for crews and aerial resources working on the fire. As soon as it is safe for public travel the highway will be reopened.

August 21, 2018 at 9:45 AM

The fire was active last night, especially at the higher elevations. Crews working on the fire continued to improve lines and work on hot-spots within the fire perimeter. Today resources will continue direct attack on the northeast flank of the fire. A structure protection group is being developed to assist the community, if needed. Holding the fire in-place continues along the southwest corner, along Mill Creek Road and down to Highway 96. Due to a National Preparedness Level 5 we continue to request additional crews and other resources to assist with fire suppression.

Smoke is an issue for those living in and around the Hoopa Area. You can find a detailed description of the Air Quality Index at this site: https://www3.epa.gov/airnow/air-quality-guide_pm_2015.pdf
There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in place for the fire area and the Hoopa Airport is closed to traffic except aerial resources working on the fire.

California State Highway 96 is closed from Bull Creek to Mill Creek due to fire behavior. Traffic is being redirected through Dowd Road. This is for the safety of the public as well as for crews and aerial resources working on the fire. As soon as it is safe for public travel the highway will be reopened.

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.

August 21, 2018 at 9:18 AM

Smoke will continue to impact air quality in the Hoopa Valley/Orleans areas. Hwy 96 is closed west of Weitchpec to Hoopa due to falling rock and other debris, traffic is being directed through Dowd Rd.

Evacuation advisory continues for Mill Creek and Norton Creek area.

Threats continue to 150 structures in the Mill Creek and Bald Hills Area, Hoopa tribal ceremonial grounds/cultural gathering areas, endangered species habitat, local watersheds and residential power and phone lines.

Hot and dry conditions are forecasted over the fire area.

August 20, 2018 at 8:18 PM

Great Basin Team 6 assumed command of the Mill Creek 1 Fire today August 20, 2018.

There will be a Community Meeting on August 21, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (location to be determined). The location, once chosen, will be posted on the Hoopa Valley Facebook Page. North Mill Creek 1 and South Mill Creek 1 fires have merged. Growth was mostly backing, flanking and isolated, line reinforcing burnouts.

FIRE UPDATE – Great Basin Team 6 assumed command of the Mill Creek 1 Fire today, August 20, 2018 at 6:00 a.m., led by Incident Commander Brook Chadwick. The Incident Management Team is comprised of individuals from several agencies working within the Great Basin (Idaho, Nevada, Utah & Wyoming). This is a full-suppression fire and the objective is 100% containment. The top priority for the Incident Management Team is the safety of fire personnel and the public. The Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Hoopa Fire Department, Hoopa, California.

Our objective is to keep the fire East of Highway 96, west of the Reservation boundary, north of Mill Creek and south of Deerhorn Creek. Resources are being ordered to assist with the suppression of the fire. Currently we are in a National Preparedness Level 5, mobilization of fire resources is heavily committed to numerous large fires throughout the country.

California State Highway 96 is closed from Bull Creek to Mill Creek due to fire behavior. Traffic is being redirected through Dowd Road. This is for the safety of the public as well as for crews and aerial resources working on the fire. As soon as it is safe for public travel the highway will be reopened.

BACKGROUND – The Mill Creek 1 Fire started on August 16, 2018 on Tribal lands near the town of Hoopa, California. The cause of the fire is ARSON. 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.