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Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name: Slater/Devil, Happy Camp
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: KNF
  • Size (acres): 157,270
  • Percent Contained: 87%
  • Estimate of Containment: November 15, 2020
  • Personnel: 157
  • Structures Destroyed: 440

Slater, Klamath NF, USFS. Five miles northeast of Happy Camp, CA. Timber and brush. Minimal fire behavior with smoldering. Numerous structures threatened. Area, road and trail closures in effect.

November 8, 2020 at 11:33 AM Final update

Slater Fire – 157,270 acres and 87% containment

Cooler and wetter weather has stopped any growth of the fire. No additional updates will be issued. Please call the above phone numbers for information about the fires.

Repair of roads, trails and fire lines affected by firefighting is finishing up over the next several days. Firefighters are spreading straw mulch and seed over bare areas to help stabilize soils and mitigate the effects of the oncoming wet weather.

Reopening the Grayback Road continues to be a high priority. The road remains closed to public use due to the presence of hazard trees.

The north side of the fire (in Oregon) is planning a transfer of command back to the Wild Rivers Ranger District on Sunday and the south side (in California) is planning a transfer of command back to the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District on Monday. D
evil Fire – 8,857 acres and 67% containment

The Devil Fire is being monitored by air. No growth has been detected for several days.

October 25, 2020 at 10:04 AM

Some increased fire activity was observed near Swan Mountain yesterday tied to the persistent warming and drying conditions. Water bucket drops were used to cool areas where heat was present.

The north and south flanks remain in a patrol status, with ongoing suppression repair and mop up efforts underway. Crews continue to focus on backhauling equipment that is no longer needed on fire lines, while further securing the lines.

The eastern flank is being monitored with aviation resources.

On the western flank, firefighters continue to monitor the Chicago Creek drainage, which is showing reduced heat in that area.

Reopening the Grayback Road continues to be a high priority. The road remains closed to public use due to unsafe hazard trees.

Devil Fire – 8,885 acres and 65% containment

The Devil Fire is being monitored by aviation resources.

Weather and Fire Behavior

A frontal system continues to move into the area, bringing potential for intermittent light rain and a brief increase of humidity levels across the fire
area as well as windy conditions. A Red Flag warning has been issued beginning Sunday due to low humidity and increasing east winds, particularly
mid-slope and on ridges. Simultaneously, some freeze warnings have been issued for low elevation areas like the Illinois Valley. Despite briefly higher
humidity, fire activity could increase tomorrow with a potential for surface fire spread in areas that have sustained the most drying.

October 21, 2020 at 9:23 AM

Slater Fire – 156,645 acres and 82% containment

Firefighters continue to patrol the northern flank of the Slater Fire and are finding very little heat close to the fire lines. On the eastern flank, aviation assets continue to be used to monitor the containment lines, especially in the Swan Mountain area, where only lingering pockets of heat remain. On the western flank, no fire movement or concern was noted in the Chicago Creek drainage (east of Sanger Peak).

Suppression repair efforts continue on the north and south flanks. These repair actions include constructing water bars and other drainage diversions in roads, fire lines, and other cleared areas. Crews will patrol for hot spots and mop up, as needed. Crews will remain vigilant for the next several days as the forest fuels continue to dry out after the rainfall received last week.

Removing trees damaged from the fire that pose a hazard to the Grayback Road continues to be a top priority. Two teams are removing hazard trees along the roadway. One team is working its way from Happy Camp north, and the other is working from the north towards Happy Camp.

Devil Fire – 8,885 acres and 60% containment

Aerial and foot patrols over the Devil Fire will continue.

Weather and Fire Behavior

Today begins a cooling trend with temperatures 10 degrees cooler than yesterday and higher relative humidity. There is some potential for limited but more active fire behavior on the exposed southern slopes in areas with heat remaining and drying conditions. Several cold fronts will be approaching the fire area over the next few days, which could bring slightly stronger east winds on ridge tops and at higher elevations. As a result of these increasing winds, there is a chance for critical fire weather conditions into Thursday morning. Little rain is expected from the incoming frontal systems at this time.

Evacuations

All level 1 evacuation orders in Del Norte County, California from Patrick Creek north to the border have been lifted, as of October 20, 2020. Oregon Caves National Monument remains closed.

In Happy Camp, the Mandatory Evacuation is still in effect above the intersection of Indian Meadows Road and Indian Creek Road.

October 18, 2020 at 11:00 AM

Fire managers are asking for help from the public in observing the various area and road closures in effect for public and firefighter safety. The Grayback Road is closed to public travel due to unsafe conditions. Crews are working to remove hazard trees adjacent to the roadway.

Slater Fire – 156,618 acres and 80% containment

Yesterday, patrols identified hot spots in the northeast corner of the fire near Sucker Creek. Hot spots were also spotted on the west of the fire, east of Little Sanger Peak in the Chicago Creek drainage. Helicopters will continue air operations and bucket drops today as needed.

Repair work on dozer lines will begin to outpace fire-suppression activities over the next few days. Resource Advisors are working hand in hand with ground resources to repair dozer lines on the north flank of the fire that were built to protect homes and structures. Residents along the south flank can expect to see crews repairing dozer lines over the coming days.

Aerial and ground patrols report little fire activity near containment lines.

Removal of fire-damaged hazard trees along the Grayback Road continues, with one team working from Happy Camp north, and another team from the north end of the road working southward.

Devil Fire – 8,885 acres and 60% containment

Aviation resources are tasked with monitoring the Devil Fire and using bucket drops to suppress the spread of creeping fire activity south of Middle Fork Fort Goff Creek.

Weather and Fire Behavior

Warmer daytime and cooler nighttime temperatures are predicted, with strong overnight inversions. Continued northeast flow along ridgetops with gusts up to 20 mph are predicted, and valley breezes up to 10 mph. Isolated areas of heat that are exposed to wind are expected to creep on the surface.

Evacuations

In Happy Camp, the Mandatory Evacuation is still in effect above the intersection of Indian Meadows Road and Indian Creek Road.

October 10, 2020 at 10:46 AM 

Slater Fire – 156,392 acres and 72% containment

On the northern flank, mop up, patrol, and structure defense continue along fire lines, with crews steadily increasing the depth of containment. Firefighters have completed containment lines south of Browntown in the Deadman’s Gulch area, and extended hand line to Swan Mountain. Road repair is ramping up to prepare for wet weather.

On the eastern flank, firefighters have contained four small spot fires outside the perimeter near Swan Mountain in the headwaters of the left fork of Sucker Creek. Three of the spot fires are contained by rocky slopes. The fourth spot fire was contained with hand line. Firefighters will continue building indirect hand line along the ridge at Swan Mountain moving to the southeast as a contingency against any future fire expansion.

On the southern portion of the fire, crews continue to patrol, monitor, and reinforce containment lines in Happy Camp and along the southwest flank up to Kelly Lake. Firefighters are focused on containing spot fires, as well as increasing the depth of containment.

The bulk of the firefighting effort will take place in the southwest portion of the fire, in the Knopki and Chicago Creek drainages, where firefighters are working to keep the fire east of Chicago Creek. Firefighters will continue work to open up roads leading into the East Fork of Chicago Creek, and construct fire line to the south into the area burned by the 2018 Natchez Fire. Firefighters will take advantage of favorable weather conditions to contain the fire in this area before a warming and drying period begins in the middle of next week.

Hazard tree removal along the Grayback Road (also known as Happy Camp Highway) between Takilma and Happy Camp remains a high priority. This work will restore safe, reliable access for firefighters, residents, and those working to bring power back to Happy Camp. Repair of other roads damaged by the fire and fire suppression activities is ramping up ahead of impending wet weather.

Devil Fire – 8,848 acres and 38% containment

Mop up and patrol continue along the northern and southern areas of the fire, with lines holding along the Butte Fork of the Applegate River, 1040 Road, and Pacific Crest Trail. Because the fire has not shown significant activity for several days, it will transition to a monitor and patrol status. 

October 5, 2020 at 10:41 AM

The public can expect to see smoke from strategic firing operations, and fuels that continue to burn and smolder in the interior of the fire. Interior burning is expected to continue until season-ending weather occurs.

Crews are clearing hazard trees on steep slopes along both sides of the Grayback Road between Takilma and Happy Camp. This high-priority work is required to provide safe, reliable access for firefighters, residents, and those working to restore power to Happy Camp.

On the north and northwest flanks of the fire, from the California border north and east to Holland, crews are mopping up and extending the depth of containment line. On the northeast side of the fire, crews are working to build containment lines towards Swan Mountain. The east side of the fire is holding west of the Thompson Creek drainage.

Firefighters are also extending the depth of mop up and patrol efforts on the southern flank of the fire, while putting out smoldering stumps and hot spots within fire lines where needed.

On the southwest side of the fire, firefighters are looking for containment opportunities in the Sanger Peak area, while extending mop up and patrol work along Sanger Peak Road.

Both direct and indirect tactics are being used on the west side of the fire to prevent westward movement. Firefighters will continue to bring the fire down to containment lines in the Knopki Creek area east of Hwy 199.

October 4, 2020 at 10:18 AM

Slater Fire – 155,004 acres and 55% containment

On the north and northwest flanks of the fire from the California border north and east to Holland, crews continue to mop up and extend the depth of containment line.  On the northeast side of the fire, crews are working on constructing fire lines towards Swan Mountain.  Air support is available and will be utilized when smoky conditions decrease.

The east side of the fire is holding on the west side of the Thompson Creek drainage.    

Firefighters are also extending the depth of mop up and patrol efforts on the southern side of the fire area, and are putting out smoldering stumps and hot spots within fire lines where needed.

On the southwest part of the fire, firefighters are looking for containment opportunities in the Sanger Peak area, while also extending mop up and patrol efforts along Sanger Peak Road. 

Both direct and indirect tactics are being used on the west side of the fire to prevent westward movement. Firefighters will continue to bring the fire down to containment lines in the Knopki Creek area east of Hwy 199.

The public will continue to see smoke from strategic firing operations and fuels that continue to burn and smolder in the interior of the fire.  Crews are also clearing hazard trees on steep slopes along both sides of Grayback Road (Happy Camp Highway) between Takilma and Happy Camp.

Devil Fire – 8,531 acres and 25% containment

Mop up and patrol continue along the northern and southern areas of the fire, with lines holding along the Applegate River, 1040 Road, and Pacific Crest Trail. There is active fire in a snag patch to the east, but containment lines are holding. Crews will continue to patrol the southwest flank and work on direct line into the Fort Goff Creek area.

Weather and Fire Behavior

Temperatures will be slightly cooler today, with a trend toward slightly higher humidities.  Winds will be out of the northeast, switching to the west/northwest in the afternoon.  Isolated pockets of interior fuels continue to burn, with smoke remaining on the western edge of the fire, reducing visibility.

October 3, 2020 at 1:29 PM

Northwest Incident Management Team 7 assumed command of both fires this morning at 6:00 a.m. With moderate temperatures and humidity expected, crews will continue efforts to hold and secure fire lines.

Slater Fire – 154,814 acres and 51% containment

On the northwest flank, south of O’Brien, the fire is in patrol status and containment lines remain strong. Firefighters are pulling hose and equipment from the area and reallocating resources to other branches as needed. At Althouse Creek, crews are mopping up and patrolling along containment lines to check fire spread to the north. Crews will continue to hold and secure the fire near the Sucker Creek and Left Fork of Sucker Creek drainages, and seek opportunities to extend fire line along Swan Ridge.

To the east, firefighters continue with direct line construction and road prep above Thompson Creek heading north through Mill Creek. Crews are reinforcing containment lines and seeking opportunities to extend both direct and indirect fire line.

On the southern side of the fire area, containment lines are holding and crews continue to mop up and patrol in Happy Camp and along the southwest flank up to Kelly Lake.

On the west side of the fire, crews continue to utilize both direct and indirect attack to prevent westward movement of the fire. Firefighters will continue to bring the fire down to containment lines in the Knopki Creek area east of Hwy 199. Crews continue to extinguish hot spots north of Sanger Lake, and seek opportunities to build direct line.

In the interior of the fire, hazard tree removal will continue along State Route 96 that accesses Happy Camp with additional resources arriving. Steep slopes are present on both sides of the highway in this area, and firefighters will be on the lookout for hazards. Air support is available and will be utilized when smoky conditions decrease.

Devil Fire – 8,598 acres and 21% containment

Mop up and patrol continue along the north and south sides of the fire, with lines holding along the Applegate River, 1040 Road, and Pacific Crest Trail. There is active fire in a snag patch to the east, but containment lines are holding. Crews will continue to patrol the southwest flank and work on direct line into the Fort Goff Creek area.

September 30, 2020 at 9:09 PM

The fire line continues to hold well with minimal movement and growth observed. Winds will continue to blow smoke into the area from large active fires to the south in California. Fire officials remind the public to use extra caution due to the extreme fire conditions

Slater Fire: In both the north and south, the primary work for firefighters is mop-up, patrol, and securing the fire’s edge as fuels continue to dry. Crews will continue to monitor and build containment line from the Oregon/California border on the west side of Highway 199 east to the Sucker Creek area. Firefighters are using direct and indirect attacks to tie in the slop-overs west of Hwy 199. The contingency line at Oregon Caves National Monument is nearly complete. Crews continue to work down the left fork of Sucker Creek and around Swan Mountain, building firelines along the northeast perimeter and down the east flank.

The area north of Sanger Lake is being scouted for possible direct firelines. Firefighters are mopping up and holding Knopki Creek as well as areas south of Holland Loop along Althouse Creek Rd. Crews are also tying in and securing firelines from Hwy 199 into the Illinois Valley along the northwest flank of the fire.

In the Elk Creek drainage and Browntown area, crews continue to go direct and construct containment line as close to the fire as they can. Over the next several days, small firing operations may be used to clean up fuels between the main body of the fire and the constructed fire line in the Monkey Creek Ridge area, the area south of Browntown to Number Eight Gulch, and along the east side of the fire.

Crews in the Happy Camp area continued to patrol and mop-up along the fire line. Work is focused on mop-up and patrol of containment lines around Happy Camp, along Hwy 96, and along the southwest perimeter of the fire. Direct line construction and road prep is continuing above Thompson Creek on the east side, moving north to meet the crews moving south from Sucker Creek and Swan Mountain. Crews are working from both the north and the south on hazard tree mitigations along Grayback Rd.

Devil Fire: Aerial water drops were used along the north edge of the fire to help with hotspots. Firefighters continue to mop-up, patrol, and secure the fire’s edge. Contingency lines are in place. The south edge of the fire has containment line from the Pacific Crest Trail towards Fort Goff Creek.

September 26, 2020 at 12:01 PM

Fire personnel took advantage of the recent moderating weather conditions to focus on mopping up, improving existing lines, conducting strategic firing operations and constructing line around the perimeter of the fire. Critical fire weather conditions are expected to develop over the weekend and interior fire activity is expected to increase. Creeping and smoldering activity will likely transition to more visible flames and fire behavior.

Slater Fire
Firefighters continue to focus on reducing the wildfire threat to nearby communities and strengthening the control lines around the perimeter of the fire. Structure task forces remain working around communities, monitoring impacted residences and ensuring there are no concerns.

North Zone: Firefighters continue mop up and patrol along the western side of the North Zone. Direct and indirect methods will be used to tie in fire areas that had crossed to the western side of Highway 199. Firing and blacklining will proceed in the Knopki Creek area (east of Highway 199), areas west of Highway 199 and the areas South of Holland Loop along Althouse Creek Road.
South Zone: Direct line construction and road prepping will continue above Thompson Creek and aerial ignitions will be utilized for strategic firing areas on the southeast side of the fire.

Devil Fire
The south edge of the fire has been patrolled, inspected and mopped up from Pacific Crest Trail west, towards Fort Goff Creek. Crews continue to utilize both direct and indirect lines along the north and east sides of the fire. Contingency lines are in place.

September 24, 2020 at 8:46 AM

Winds throughout the valley were a good test for line along the west side of the fire. Isolated interior islands of fuel burned as they were exposed to gusty southwest winds. The Slater fire is 150,956 acres and 24 percent contained. The Devil fire is 7,784 acres and remains 18 percent contained. Firefighters continue to make good progress holding and improving containment lines on both fires. UAS (drones) were used for reconnaissance flights over the fire today to gather information for planning future operations. Cooler temperatures and rain showers are forecast for today.

Slater Fire
North Zone
Crews continue to hold and improve existing containment lines. They are working close to the fire line to keep the fire from growing. Operations today will focus on constructing line between Knopki Creek and Sanger Lake.

The fire came up to the dozer line near Monkey Creek Ridge and is holding. Helicopters assisted crews by dropping water on the fire until winds were too high.

Crews continue to hold and improve the fire line along Highway 199, as well as north and east toward the Browntown area. High afternoon winds caused a spot fire over the line in the Eight Spur Gulch area; however, crews caught it at 20 acres. On the northeast side of the fire near Oregon Caves National Monument crews worked raking out existing trails. The Sucker Creek area saw little new activity.

South Zone
Mop up continues in and around the communities of Happy Camp and Indian Creek. Crews will continue with direct line construction north of Thompson Creek. When conditions allow, crews will complete burnout operations to remove unburned fuel between indirect containment lines and the main fire. Fire progression to the southwest and west has slowed as the fire burns into the Natchez Fire scar.

Devil Fire: Crews on the southwest corner of the fire were able to tie handline down into the creek drainage. The fire remains south of the 1040 Road and is holding to the west of the Butte Fork Trail. An additional crew was assigned and working on the southwest edge of the fire.

Weather: Rain, cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity are forecast for today. Last night the Slater Fire received the following amounts of precipitation: .7 inches on the west side, .4 inches through the center and north, and .2 inches on the east. The Devil Fire received a trace of rain on the north and none on the south.

September 23, 2020 at 9:02 AM

The Slater fire is 150,230 acres and 24 percent contained. The Devil fire is 7,784 acres and remains 18 percent contained. Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2 assumed command of the entire Slater and Devil Fires (north and south zones) at 6 p.m. yesterday. Firefighters continue to make good progress holding and improving containment lines on both fires and most of the growth on the fire is due to backing and creeping. Critical fire weather is expected today with winds out of the southwest at 25 miles per hour with gusts to 40.

Slater Fire

North Zone: Crews continue to hold and improve existing containment lines. They are constructing new line, working close to the fire line to keep the fire from growing. Firefighters are also preparing structures to protect those building from potential fire spread.

Hand crews and dozers have been working west of Highway 199 to construct indirect control lines along Monkey Ridge. The two sides are expected to tie together today. Several hot shot crews will be used to complete burnout operations to clean up any unburned fuel between the line and the main edge of the fire when conditions allow.

Crews are mopping up and still holding the line on the north side of the fire from Goodwish Creek near Hwy 199 east to the Sun Star area and back north. Firefighters are working on several hotspots along the line around Hope Mountain and will continue to reinforce the line up toward Horseshoe Gulch.

Crews successfully completed a burnout south of Holland and will begin mopping up that area. Firefighters are reinforcing the line around Browntown and toward Oregon Caves National Monument. Hand crews continue to reinforce the line south of Oregon Caves to protect the monument.

South Zone: Mop up continues in and around the communities of Happy Camp and Indian Creek. Crews will continue with direct line construction north of Thompson Creek. When conditions allow, crews will complete burnout operations to remove unburned fuel between indirect containment lines and the main fire.

Devil Fire: Crews held the Devil Fire south of the 1040 Road. They continue to construct more line and establish hoselays along the north side of the fire to assist with mop up. Additional resources have been assigned to the fire to help construct line down the east side of the fire to tie in with contained line along the south side. Firefighters are stationed behind residences in Seiad to defend the fire line.

Weather: Fire operations will use lookouts today due to expected winds that could increase fire behavior. Winds will be out of the southwest at 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 miles per hour. Rain is expected to move into the area Wednesday night, followed by several days of cooler temperature and higher relative humidity.

September 22, 2020 at 8:35 AM

The Slater fire is 148,677 acres and 22 percent contained. The Devil fire is 7,458 acres and is 18 percent contained. The Josephine County Sheriff’s office reduced the Dick George Road evacuation level to Level 2 “Be Set.” Greenview Drive remains in evacuation Level 3 “Go” status. Cave Junction remains at Level 1. For more information, visit the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office website.

Slater Fire

North Zone: Smoke was visible today as isolated interior areas of the fire burned as the inversion lifted and ridgetop winds blew. Crews are working as close to the fire as they can to keep the fire from growing. The fire’s movement to the southwest and south has slowed as the fire burns into old fire scars.

Hand crews and dozers have been working west of Highway 199 to construct indirect control lines. Crews have almost completed the lines from Highway 199 along Monkey Ridge and back around the top of the fire to Highway 199.

Mop up activities are nearly complete on the northwest side of the fire. Night crews monitored the burn operations south of Holland to secure that edge of the fire. Firefighters are reinforcing indirect lines in the northeast section, south of Oregon Caves, to protect the monument.

South Zone: With a lot of black line along the south side of the fire in and around Happy Camp, crews continue to patrol and reassign equipment to other areas of the fire. Firefighters continue to mop up and monitor along Highway 96, while helping fire back down into the Thompson Creek drainage. Protection remains behind residences in Seiad for now and firefighters are stationed there to defend that line. Last night an infrared flight showed the fire’s footprint is 150,230 acres.

Devil Fire: The fire continues to burn mainly to the southwest. Winds could pick up to 15-20 miles per hour today coming from the southwest, with a chance that fire activity could increase. However, a small amount of rain is expected Wednesday night or Thursday. Last night an infrared flight showed the fire’s size is 7,784 acres. Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2 will assume command of the entire Slater and Devil Fires (north and south zones) at 6 p.m. today, as California Interagency Incident Management Team 10 transitions out.

Weather: Tomorrow winds from the southwest are expected to be 10-15 miles per hour with gusts up to 25.

September 20, 2020 at 11:34 AM

Slater Fire:

North Zone

Yesterday, additional scouting was performed to identify opportunities to secure the edge of the fire in the Talkilma area. The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s (OSFM) Task Forces continue to work in partnership with wildland crews focusing all of their efforts on establishing control lines. For today, warmer temperatures and lower humidity will cause fuels to dry out and an increase in wind blowing toward the north and northwest can be expected. Resources will be conducting direct fire suppression activities on the north to northwest perimeter of the fire. Crews continue developing strategies to minimize the footprint of the fire’s edge, especially focusing in the northern perimeter of the fire to protect property at risk. Smoke may become more visible as crews perform burnout operations to consume unburned fuel between the fire line and the fire’s edge. To secure the western side of the fire, dozers will be used to establish indirect fire line. Yesterday Hwy 199 was reopened to through traffic in both California and Oregon. Firefighters are still working near the highway and motorists should expect delays of up to 20 minutes. In the Gasquet (California) portion of the Slater Fire, firefighters held the fire at the Knopki Rd to protect the town of Gasquet. They will work to complete operations to secure the fire edge at the intersection of Hwy 199 and Knopki Rd. Structure protection activity continues from Knopki Rd to the town of Gasquet.

South Zone

Firefighting efforts in the South Zone of the Slater Fire today will be focused on clearing hazard trees up the Grayback Road and attempting ignition (dependent on conditions) to contain the fire along the Thompson Creek Road and north along the Slater Fire’s edge. Firefighters continue to monitor the Devil Fire as it backs into the Goff Creek drainage. The structures near both Goff Creek and Thompson Creek are well protected, and fire behavior in the drainages continues to be fairly minimal. Crews have secured the south and east sides of the Devil Fire. Crews placed fire hose along the line they built behind residences on Seiad Creek Road as a contingency line. Highway 96 is now open with no restrictions, but motorists are advised to drive slowly as firefighters and equipment are still working off of the highway. Yesterday, northerly winds blew smoke across the Slater Fire area, settling it back into the Happy Camp area. Winds are expected to shift to the southeast today, which should help with air quality. The Slater Fire is now estimated at 146,698 acres and 18 % contained.

Devil Fire:

Resources are engaging the fire as it wants to spread toward Applegate Lake moves in a northeast direction. The southeast side of the Devil Fire is now lined and secure, with the crews using the Pacific Crest Trail as a containment line on the east. The Devil Fire is still generating some heat along its west side and southwest corner, but the Tahoe Hotshots were able to find the cold edge of that fire and build direct line to cut off its southward progress and herd it towards Fort Goff Creek, away from homes in and around Seiad Valley and Hwy 96. The Grayback Rd is still closed to the public for hazard tree removal and power pole repair. The Devil Fire has one Type 2 initial attack crew, is currently at 7,144 acres and is 18% contained. Weather: Winds are forecasted to be WNW at 6 with gusts up to 12mph. humidity in the midafternoon will be around 20% with warm seasonal weather with temperatures in the high 70’s continuing into Monday.

September 19, 2020 at 8:36 PM

Please note: The North Zone of the Slater Fire (currently including the Gasquet area and all of Oregon) is being managed by Northern Rockies Team 2 and the South Zone of the fire continues to be managed by California Team 10. Beginning tomorrow, this incident will transition to one morning update from Northern Rockies Team 2 encompassing both zones.

Summary:

Slater Fire: The cooler temperatures assisted crews in implementing direct and indirect fire strategies. A helicopter worked on the north area of the fire west of Hwy 199, near the California/Oregon border dropping water on fire activity outside of the existing dozer line. The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s (OSFM) Task Forces assisted wildland crews with burn operations, provided necessary support along the fire edge, and completed protection measures at Oregon Caves National Monument by installing sprinklers, hose lines and portable water tanks. Most of the initial attack fire response resources on the Wild Rivers Ranger District remain assigned to the Slater Fire to assist out of area resources, including two task force leaders, six engines, three crews, a water tender, a wildland fire module and a dozer.

The break in the weather allowed South Zone crews to assess the fires by aircraft yesterday. They reported seeing very little smoke within the interior of the fire area, and little to no heat on the western edge of the Slater Fire from Hwy 96 north to Kelly Lake. The Hwy 96 corridor has been secured, and crews will work today to chip and remove brush cut during suppression. Traffic control on Hwy 96 is expected to remain in place, and motorists should continue to expect 45-minute delays. On the eastern side of the fire, crews are planning to contain the Slater Fire along the Thompson Creek Rd, on the west side of the Thompson Creek drainage.

In the Gasquet (California) portion of the Slater Fire, firefighters held the fire at the Knopki Rd to protect the town of Gasquet. They will work to complete operations to secure the fire edge at the intersection of Hwy 199 and Knopki Rd. Structure protection activity continues from Knopki Rd to the town of Gasquet.

Devil Fire: Resources are engaging the fire as it wants to spread toward Applegate Lake. The southeast side of the Devil Fire is now lined and secure, with the crews using the Pacific Crest Trail as a containment line on the east. The Devil Fire is still generating some heat along its west side and southwest corner, but the Tahoe Hotshots were able to find the cold edge of that fire and build direct line to cut off its southward progress and herd it towards Fort Goff Creek, away from homes in and around Seiad Valley and Hwy 96. The Grayback Rd is still closed to the public for hazard tree removal and power pole repair. The Devil Fire has one Type 2 initial attack crew, is currently at 7,144 acres and is 7% contained.

September 17, 2020 at 9:21 AM

The Slater and Devil Fire South Zone (Happy Camp to Seiad communities) will be holding a virtual public meeting at 3 p.m. today, September 17, 2020. Join us at facebook.com/SlaterAndDevilFireInformation

Incident Commander Doug Turman and his Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2 assumed command of the North Zone of the Slater Fire (including areas around Gasquet, California) yesterday. The South Zone of the Slater Fire and the Devil Fire will remain under command of California IIMT 10 for now. Information will still be disseminated at facebook.com/SlaterAndDevilFireInformation to avoid confusion. 

NORTH ZONE: Near Gasquet, firelines are holding along Knopki Road, despite limited available resources there. Equipment operators are using bulldozers to establish control lines along Monkey Ridge to prevent the fire from crossing Highway 199.  

The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office has mobilized 10 task forces of structural fire engines, six from Oregon, three from Utah, and one from Washington State. Today, operations continued to implement direct and indirect fire strategies. The heavy smoke inversion lifted late afternoon yesterday over the North Zone of the Slater Fire, causing increased fire activity, but fire personnel were able to maintain control lines in and around Illinois Valley. Note to Level 3 evacuees: We are working hard to get you back into your homes. Thank you for your patience as we work to ensure your safety. Northern Rockies Team 2 continues to work with the Oregon State Fire Marshal, Oregon Department of Forestry and other local and federal agencies to contain the northern spread of the Slater Fire. 

SOUTH ZONE: A low-pressure system crossed over the Slater Fire area from west to east, clearing smoke out and increasing fire activity yesterday afternoon into last night. Firefighters were able to contain several spot fires on the west side of the Thompson Creek drainage yesterday. Air quality is expected to improve around Happy Camp today, although smoke levels are predicted to remain unhealthy.  

Priorities for the Slater Fire South Zone today include preventing rolling material from crossing control lines along Highway 96 and protecting life and property in the Thompson Creek drainage, where fire is backing towards homes. Meanwhile, work continues to build direct and indirect fireline around Seiad to contain the Devil Fire, which spread to the west and northeast yesterday.   

The Slater Fire has now burned an estimated 143,092 acres, while the Devil Fire is at roughly 6,907 acres, aerial heat detection flights show. The Slater Fire remains at 10 percent containment, while the Devil is still 0 percent contained. 

The Fox Fire burning southwest of Callahan in the Klamath National Forest is now estimated at roughly 1,512 acres. EVACUATION ADVISORIES and ORDERS are in effect for the Callahan area due to this fire – see the Siskiyou County Sheriffs Facebook page for updated details. The Fox Fire has shown active fire behavior and produced intense heat. The Slater Fire’ South Zone is supporting suppression efforts on the Fox Fire until additional resources arrive. CALFIRE is also assisting in response to this fire. It is currently 0 percent contained.  

September 16, 2020 at 12:33 PM

Fire behavior on the Slater Fire is anticipated to remain calm today, as it mostly did yesterday due to smoke. Most of the recent fire growth has occurred on the Devil Fire, north into Butte Fork drainage. The Slater Fire also spread towards the Devil Fire yesterday, where conditions are still somewhat drier than down canyon. Humidity levels overnight stayed relatively high, even on ridgetops, and forecasts say moisture will increase throughout the day today with a chance of rain over the fire area tomorrow or Friday.

Today, crews will continue to build direct fire line along the east side of the Pacific Crest Trail and prep along that trail to the south to protect the town of Seiad from the Devil Fire. Assigned resources there are planning to spike out there for several days to complete this task. Meanwhile, indirect fire line construction immediately around Seiad continues to be improved.

Other priorities for firefighters in the south zone of the Slater Fire today include containing the fire on the right side of the road and protecting residences in Thompson Creek and Fort Goff areas. Firefighters will today aim to complete indirect line to prevent the fire from spreading south of Highway 96 between Seiad and Happy Camp where it is burning along a bench above the road. They will also use strategic firing as needed on the east slope of the Thompson Creek drainage to bring fire down to private properties “on our terms.”

Near Gasquet, firelines are holding along Knopki Road, despite limited available resources there. Firefighters are working to scout control lines along Monkey Ridge and Oregon Mountain Road to prevent the fire’s spread into communities southwest of the fire.

In Oregon, Slater Fire growth was also minimal, with backing and flanking fire behavior. Fire resources on the ground there sought opportunities to directly contain the fire in its current footprint and establish contingency lines. No structures were lost overnight on the Slater Fire. More resources are arriving to the north zone of the Slater Fire today.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office has mobilized 10 structure task forces, six from Oregon, three from Utah, and one from Washington State. Today crews will be holding the fire along the road system on the west side of the fire near the state line. In the Takilma area, dozers will continue to put in line and work direct on the north side of the fire.

Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2 assumed command of the northern zone of the Slater Fire (including areas around Gasquet in California) at 6 a.m. today. While many parts of fire management are divvied up between the two teams, information will still be disseminated via one Facebook page to avoid confusion.

A new fire start discovered by aircraft on the Klamath National Forest two days ago is burning southwest of Callahan, and is now estimated at roughly 761 acres. EVACUATION ADVISORIES and ORDERS are in effect for Callahan area due to this fire – see the Siskiyou County Sheriffs Facebook page for updated details. The Fox Fire is active on its north edge, where reports from the field say groups of trees are torching. This fire has also moved westward past Blue Jay Ridge towards Joe Keen meadows. The south zone Slater Fire is supporting suppression efforts on the Fox Fire until additional resources arrive.

September 14, 2020 at 10:26 AM

The Slater Fire continued to back and flank at lower elevations in both California and Oregon yesterday. Fire activity remained relatively moderate in places that remained under the smoke inversion, but increased in places where the inversion lifted, especially on the Oregon side. Both the north and south edges of the fire experienced some spotting last night.  In Cedar Creek, Dwight Creek, and Elk Creek areas, fire-suppression efforts focused successfully protection around structures and utilities – no structures were damaged or destroyed overnight. The fire burned with less intensity around the Holland Loop area, so emphasis shifted to strengthening indirect firelines to increase community protection.

Crews mopped up around hand and dozer lines down to Highway 96 along the fire’s eastern edge, reinforcing those control lines overnight. Fire burning near Highway 96 between Happy Camp and Seiad caused some rocks to roll onto the road. Firefighters are securing line west from China Point towards Happy Camp. Work to defend constructed fire lines around structures at Thompson Creek is ongoing as the Slater Fire approaches that neighborhood from the west and the Devil Fire burns to the northeast.

Operational priorities on the south side of the fire for today remain point protection around structures and utilities, and detecting and containing any spots across the highway or ahead of the main fire. Fire personnel are hiking into the Devil Fire again today looking for places to contain the fire along the Pacific Crest Trail, with the goal of keeping that fire west of Seiad Creek and out of the Applegate River.

Near Gasquet, crews focused on structure protection to the southwest along Knopki Creek. Firefighters worked to strengthen control lines along Monkey Ridge and Oregon Mountain Road to prevent the fire’s spread west. Since the fire crossed to the west side of Highway 199, fire managers are now adjusting their control strategy and falling back to employ different control points further to the northwest. A local crew, the Smith River Hotshots, have been assigned to the Slater Fire.

Along the west side of the fire, Siskiyou Mountain Ranger District initial attack firefighting resources have continued to prep the 1040 road in the event that the Devil Fire should work its way out of the Red Buttes Wilderness. Portions of the 1040 road were treated in 2017 during the Miller Complex. With increased humidity, the Miller Complex Fire scar should slow or stop fire spread towards the Applegate Valley. The Slater Fire has not made it into Steve’s Fork; fire personnel scouted the area several days ago and completed a full reconnaissance before the smoke settled in. The Slater Fire is currently eight to ten miles from Williams, Oregon. Firefighting resources are scouting for the best places to put in direct, indirect and contingency lines to protect communities in this area. Firefighters are preparing Oregon Caves National Monument to protect it from the Slater Fire.

Winds out of the east have caused smoke impacts from the Slater and Devil Fires that have extended to the coast. Smoke continues to impact most of the west coast due to multiple large fires. The cool, wet smoke inversion is likely to remain into this afternoon, forecasts say. The inversion could begin mixing up into the atmosphere later this afternoon or tomorrow. Meanwhile, winds today are blowing 15 miles per hour on ridgetops. This could affect fire behavior at higher elevations in the Slater Fire’s interior and on the Devil Fire.

Due to a record number of wildfires burning across the West and resulting resource drawdown, fire managers are moving resources around to respond to the highest threats to life and property on the Slater Fire. The Devil Fire is estimated at 4,429 acres, and is 0% contained. The Slater Fire is estimated at 131,601 acres, and is 5% contained.

Incident Management Team 10 is readying to transfer command of the northern and western sides of the Slater Fire to an incoming Type 1 Team, while retaining command of the south and east sides of the Slater Fire and all of the Devil Fire.

September 13, 2020 at 10:09 AM

The Slater Fire continues to slowly spread in all directions, moderated by cool, moist weather in low-lying areas. The Devil Fire remains unstaffed, but Team 10 is scouting containment opportunities. Additional firefighting resources are on order. 

North side: A virtual public meeting will be held today, September 13, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.  

Slater Fire North Area Virtual Community Meeting 

Sunday, September 13, 2020, 2:30 p.m. 

Facebook Live @SlaterAndDevilFireInformation 

www.facebook.com/SlaterAndDevilFireInformation 

South side: A virtual meeting public will be held today, September 13, 2020 at 4 p.m. 

Slater Fire South Area Virtual Community Meeting 

Sunday, September 13, 2020, 4 p.m. 

Facebook Live @SlaterAndDevilFireInformation 

www.facebook.com/SlaterAndDevilFireInformation 

Fire activity around Happy Camp has now significantly moderated, with humidity damping down fire activity along the fire perimeter there. The town remains in mop-up and patrol status, with crews falling hazard trees and power companies working diligently to restore infrastructure so that displaced residents can return as soon as it’s safe.  

The Slater Fire has now backed down to Highway 96 near Seattle Creek, where firefighters have built handline to limit fire growth potential and keep the fire north of the highway. A firing operation is planned to strengthen an indirect line protecting residences north of Happy Camp along the Highway 96 corridor, creating a solid containment line along the highway. Meanwhile, protection is underway around structures and utilities from Thompson Creek east (and downriver) to Fort Goff. Firefighters are also performing prep work from China Creek to Thompson Creek in case the fire arrives there. 

Near Gasquet, crews focused on structure protection and scouting for areas to engage. The fire is  

currently hung up at Oregon Mountain Road and backing into Knopki Creek, with not much movement  

observed on the SW edge. A local crew, the Smith River Hotshots, have been assigned to the Slater Fire. 

Along the west side of the fire, Siskiyou Mountain Ranger District initial attack firefighting resources have begun to prep the 1040 road in the event that the Devil Fire should work its way out of the Red Buttes Wilderness. Portions of the 1040 road were treated in 2017 during the Miller Complex. Along with increased humidity, the Miller Complex Fire scar should slow or stop fire spread towards the Applegate Valley. The Slater fire has not made it into Steve’s Fork; fire personnel scouted the area several days ago and completed a full reconnaissance before the smoke settled in. The Slater Fire is currently eight to ten miles from Williams, Oregon. Firefighting resources are scouting for the best places to put in direct, indirect and contingency lines to protect communities in this area. Firefighters are preparing Oregon Caves National Monument to protect it from the Slater Fire. 

Winds out of the east have caused smoke impacts from the Slater and Devil Fires that have extended to the coast. Smoke continues to impact most of the west coast due to multiple large fires. The cool, wet smoke inversion is likely to remain into this afternoon, forecasts say. The inversion could begin mixing up into the atmosphere later this afternoon or tomorrow. Meanwhile, winds today are blowing 15 miles per hour on ridgetops. This could affect fire behavior at higher elevations in the Slater Fire’s interior and on the Devil Fire. 

 Both fires are still zero percent contained, burning mainly in timber, logging slash and brush. The Devil Fire is estimated at 4,149 acres. The Slater Fire is estimated at 126,333 acres, according to last night’s infrared flight.  

Due to extreme fire danger, all National Forests in California have been closed from September 9 through 14, 2020. More details on these closure orders, along with fire restrictions orders, can be found on National Forest websites and on InciWeb. Highway 199 remains closed from O’Brien south almost to Gasquet. Highway 96 remains closed from Portuguese Creek to Clear Creek. 

EVACUATION INFORMATION: 

https://www.co.josephine.or.us/fire

www.rvem.org

September 12, 2020 at 9:37 PM

On the north (Oregon) side of the Slater Fire, firefighting resources scouted opportunities to construct fireline to keep the wildfire out of populated areas. Dozer lines now surround the communities of Sunstar, Takilma, and Holland. 

Siskiyou Mountain Ranger District initial attack firefighting resources have begun to prepare the 1040 road in the event that the Devil Fire should work its way out of the Red Buttes Wilderness. Portions of the 1040 road were treated in 2017 during the Miller Complex. Along with increased humidity, the Miller Complex Fire scar should slow or stop fire spread towards the Applegate Valley. Along its eastern edge, the fire has crossed into Sucker Creek and is burning in the Swan Mountain area, but is still far from structures. A public meeting will be held tomorrow, September 13, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.
 

Slater Fire North Area Virtual Community Meeting   

Sunday, September 13, 2020, 2:30 p.m.  

Facebook Live @SlaterAndDevilFireInformation  

https://www.facebook.com/SlaterAndDevilFireInformation

As of this evening, the Slater Fire has not made it into Steve’s Fork; fire personnel scouted out the area several days ago and completed a full reconnaissance before the smoke settled in.   

On the south (California) side, the leading southeastern edge of the fire continued to back downslope. By 6 p.m. the fire was 200 feet from Highway 96. Firefighters completed more than half of the prep work along the road between Happy Camp and Seiad in anticipation of the fire’s arrival there.  

In Happy Camp, patrol and mopup around structures continued. Crews on the southwest side of Happy Camp attempted to burn out around structures to secure indirect fireline and create a buffer, but high humidity prevented effective burning.  

While the Devil Fire continues to move mainly to the north and west, equipment and crews were able to pick up the pace building fireline to defend the town of Seiad, and so far that line has held.  

On the west side of the Slater Fire, crews and bulldozers worked to build fireline around the Almost Heaven area and Dwight Creek. Fire resources there also scouted Monkey Ridge and Oregon Mountain Road as control features that can help stop the fire’s spread across the state line. Fire operations also looked for ways to tie the western edge of the fire into where it’s burning along the southern perimeter in Happy Camp. 

More resources have finally begun arriving at the incident. This means more staffing for day and night shifts, and increased ability to complete control lines and containment strategies.  

Winds out of the east have caused smoke impacts from the Slater and Devil Fires that have extended over to the coast. Smoke continues to impact most of the west coast due to multiple large fires. Incident meteorologists say that a cold front coming in could dissipate smoke and bring some precipitation Monday or Tuesday. Meanwhile, winds tomorrow could gust up to 20 miles per hour. 

Both fires are still zero percent contained. The Devil Fire is estimated at 3,888 acres. The Slater Fire is estimated at 122,006 acres, according to last night’s infrared flight.  

September 12, 2020 at 10:27 AM

Based on reduced fire activity, fire suppression strategy on the Slater and Devil Fires yesterday changed from structure and utility protection only to a larger perimeter containment strategy. After an infrared heat detection flight last night, Team 10 was able to confirm that the total footprint of the fire was smaller than first estimated using satellite and data from ground troops.

Along the Slater Fire’s northwestern side in Del Norte County, the focus remained on point protection yesterday, primarily along Highway 199 from Gasquet to the Collier Tunnel. The fire is currently hung up at Oregon Mountain Road and backing into Knopki Creek, so there is currently little movement along the southwestern edge in this area. The Gasquet Ranger District’s (Six Rivers National Forest) Smith River Hotshots have been assigned to the Slater Fire.

On the south end of the Slater Fire, favorable weather conditions slowed fire activity significantly yesterday and overnight. However, the initially hot and fast-moving fire weakened trees in the burn area. Falling snags along Highway 96, some of them very large, pose a risk to firefighters and anyone else nearby.

Firing operations will begin today along the Slater Fire’s eastern edge to protect structures in the Thompson Creek area, while scouts look for opportunities to contain and control fire spread down river where the fire is approaching Highway 96. Firefighters are working to assess and implement structure protection in the Highway 96 corridor, and to protect road access on the highway.

Further up the eastern flank of the Slater Fire, crews continued to make good progress constructing fireline between the town of Seiad and the Devil Fire, which is likely to soon merge with the Slater Fire burning to its west. Fire managers have also continued scouting to determine where best to hold the fire to prevent it from threatening communities and structures to the north, east, and west.

Meanwhile, on the north side of the Slater Fire, crews and equipment continue to make headway along the west side of Highway 199, with hopes of buttoning up both sides of that highway with fireline and turn the northwest corner of the fire to connect with containment efforts along the fire’s northern edge. The Wild Rivers Ranger District (Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest) currently has 150 local firefighters assigned to the Slater Fire that are working along the Highway 199 corridor.

Meanwhile, aircraft are standing by to assist in firefighting and intelligence gathering if the air clears enough. Smoky conditions have dampened fire activity over the past few days, but also hampered the use of aircraft due to poor visibility.

Moisture recovery rose overnight and is expected to go up even more today, with probability of ignition dropping to 40 to 50 percent for today. A low-pressure system from the coast could scour smoke out of the fire area starting tomorrow, but could also result in increased wind speeds. Relative humidity is expected to continue climbing, aiding fire managers in suppression efforts. With higher fuel moistures and light variable winds, the fire is anticipated to be more terrain driven tomorrow. Winds out of the east have caused smoke impacts from the Slater and Devil Fires that have extended over to the coast. Smoke continues to impact most of the west coast due to multiple large fires.

Both fires are still zero percent contained. The Devil Fire is estimated at 3,888 acres. The Slater Fire is estimated at 122,006 acres, according to last night’s infrared flight.

Due to extreme fire danger, all National Forests in California have been closed from September 9 through 14, 2020. More details on these closure orders, along with fire restrictions orders, can be found on National Forest websites and on InciWeb. Highway 199 remains closed from O’Brien south almost to Gasquet. Highway 96 remains closed from Portuguese Creek to Clear Creek.

EVACUATION ORDERS remain in effect for most of Happy Camp. However, Elk Creek Road and Seiad were both downgraded to an EVACUATION WARNING. In Oregon, Level 3 orders are in effect in the O’Brien and Takilma areas, Dick George Road (including most of Holland Loop) and Takilma Road areas, Brown Road, O’Brien and all areas south of Brown Road O’Brien. EVACUATION WARNINGS are in effect for Gasquet in California and Level 2 orders are in effect south of Kerby and Cave Junction areas in Oregon.

September 11, 2020 at 9:17 PM

Humidity levels bumped up slightly today under the heavy smoke inversion. Fire managers were able to establish good line around Happy Camp and focus on mopping up and securing structures. Firefighters also made progress assessing and building fireline along the west edge of the fire. Crews constructed fireline down from Cade Mountain toward Highway 96, which the active fire’s edge is expected to reach. Incident Management Team 10 asks that drivers exercise extra caution and watch for falling or rolling material on the roadway, as well as firefighters and equipment working along the road. Evacuation orders (mandatory) were downgraded to warnings (advisory) on the Elk Creek Road. Happy Camp remains under and evacuation order (mandatory.) 

A bulldozer continued today to reopen an old line from the 2012 Goff Fire on the south side of the Devil Fire to protect the community of Seiad. Evacuation orders (mandatory) were downgraded to Evacuation warnings (advisory) here for residents along Highway 96 between Scott Bar Road and Portuguese Flat. Crews were still unable to fly due to smoke conditions, but were able to scout opportunities for containment to the north.  

In the Gasquet area, the fire is backing slowly downhill in the area of Washington Peak. Crews worked to identify places to build primary and contingency fire lines, and will begin working on those lines as soon as resources become available. 

Equipment and crews have been able to build approximately 18 miles of direct and indirect line along the northwestern edges of the Slater Fire. In the Holland Loop area, dozer line has been constructed to protect the structures, and the fire is still some distance from those structures. Fireline has been completed around the community of O’Brien, and the area has suffered no additional structure losses today. In the northwest portion of the fire near Waldo, crews were able to get out in front of it to begin building containment lines. The Wild Rivers Ranger District (Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest) currently has 150 local firefighters assigned to the Slater Fire that are working along the Highway 199 corridor. 

Both fires are still zero percent contained. The Devil Fire is estimated at 4,488 acres. The Slater Fire is estimated at 136,310 acres.  

Relative humidity is expected to continue climbing, aiding fire managers in suppression efforts. With higher fuel moistures and light variable winds, the fire is anticipated to be more terrain driven tomorrow. Winds out of the east have caused smoke impacts from the Slater and Devil Fires that have extended over to the coast. Smoke continues to impact most of the west coast due to multiple large fires.  

Due to extreme fire danger, all National Forests in California have been closed from September 9 through 14, 2020. More details on these closure orders, along with fire restrictions orders, can be found on National Forest websites and on InciWeb. Highway 199 remains closed from O’Brien south almost to Gasquet.  

EVACUATION ORDERS remain in effect for most of Happy Camp. However, Elk Creek Road and Seiad were both downgraded to an EVACUATION WARNING. In Oregon, Level 3 orders are in effect in the O’Brien and Takilma areas, Dick George Road (including most of Holland Loop) and Takilma Road areas, Brown Road, O’Brien and all areas south of Brown Road O’Brien. 

EVACUATION WARNINGS are in effect for Gasquet in California and Level 2 orders are in effect south of Kerby and Cave Junction areas in Oregon. 

September 11, 2020 at 10:17 AM

Today, firefighting forces on the Slater Fire are focused on protection of buildings and utilities, development of a perimeter containment strategy, and supporting local fire units in initial attack on both sides of the state line as needed. Reports from the field indicate that no additional structures were lost yesterday.  

In and around Happy Camp, crews completed 50 feet of mop up around structures and looked for opportunities to build direct fireline to protect structures and neighborhoods. Some small pockets of fuel around homes remained a concern, and crews are looking at utilizing firing tactics to clean up these pockets and secure indirect lines. A power company will be in Happy Camp today to fall hazard trees around homes and power lines. There are still areas of active fire in the Happy Camp area, and fire-weakened trees and down powerlines make the area unsafe. It remains under a mandatory evacuation order. There is no active fire edge along Highway 96 at this point. Firefighters are scouting opportunities to keep the fire from reaching the highway. To do that, firefighters plan to build a fireline up to Cade Mountain and directly along the current fire perimeter.  Meanwhile, in Gasquet and surrounding towns, crews stayed focused on protecting and mopping up around structures. 

An old bulldozer line (from the Goff Fire in 2012) up Seiad Creek Road is being reopened to protect the town of Seiad from the Devil Fire, which is primarily burning to the north at this time. More resources are needed to complete this line.  

On the Oregon side of the Slater Fire, firefighters made good progress in protecting private land and diverting the fire northeast from Highway 199, away from the towns of Cave Junction and Kerby. Dozers were used to construct almost 20 miles of fireline to protect private property from O’Brien to Holland. Fire personnel continue to seek opportune places to control the fire along Highway199.   

Smoke yesterday moderated fire activity, but it also prevented the Team’s ability to fly over the fire area. Smoky conditions may moderate fire behavior today as well. Weather conditions are expected to remain very dry today, with light winds. Forecasts suggest that the fire could spot ahead of itself about a third of a mile, and warns that probability of ignition is at 80 to 90 percent. Smoke transport winds are predicted to come from the south and southeast.  

The Slater and Devil Fires are still zero percent contained. The Devils Fire was estimated at 4,488 acres as of this morning, and remains unstaffed. The Slater Fire is estimated at 136,310 acres.  

Due to extreme fire danger, all National Forests in California have been closed from September 9 through 14, 2020. More details on these closure orders, along with fire restrictions orders, can be found on National Forest websites and on InciWeb. Highway 199 remains closed from O’Brien south almost to Gasquet.  

The Wild Rivers and Siskiyou Mountains Ranger Districts on the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF are now closed to public entry. The exception is Bear Camp Road (Forest Road 23), which remains open at this time. Forest Closures in their entirety can be seen here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/rogue-siskiyou/alerts-notices 

EVACUATION ORDERS remain in effect for Happy Camp and Seiad Valley in California. In Oregon, Level 3 orders are in effect in the O’Brien and Takilma areas, Dick George Road (including most of Holland Loop) and Takilma Road areas, Brown Road, O’Brien and all areas south of Brown Road O’Brien. 

EVACUATION WARNINGS are in effect for Gasquet, California and Level 2 orders are in effect south of Kerby and Cave Junction areas in Oregon. 

September 11, 2020 at 7:58 AM

Point protection around structures remains a priority. Crews are starting to look for opportunities to create both direct and indirect containment lines where possible.

Weather today is predicted to be similar to yesterday, with light winds pushing smoke to the west. Fuels are expected to remain very dry, with only minimal recovery overnight. This weather pattern is expected to change going into next week, as a front pushes into the area. There is a moderate chance that some rain (although likely not a season-ending event) can be expected Monday into Tuesday.

NEW closure orders are in effect for the Wild Rivers and Siskiyou Mountains Ranger Districts of the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest. Find more information here.

Due to extreme fire behavior. National Forests in California are closed. Find more information about California forest closures here.

September 10, 2020 at 11:08 AM

Fire-weather conditions today are expected to be similar to the past few days. Hot temperatures with dry unstable air and record low fuel moistures could result in more extreme fire behavior, fire spread in all directions, and plume-dominated fire activity. 

Point protection of structures in threatened communities of Happy Camp, O Brien, Takilma, Cave Junction, and Gasquet remains the top priority for the Team. Hot weather, drought-stressed, dry fuels and extreme fire behavior resulted in power outages, road closures, and evacuations for impacted communities on both sides of the California-Oregon border. 

With a record number of fires across the West, resources are stretched thin nationally. This resource shortage forces the incoming team to triage, and to develop a fire suppression strategy with what limited resources are available. Firefighters have been working non-stop since initial attack, employing what few resources they have. Air resources will be utilized for reconnaissance and fire suppression as smoke and visibility permit.  

A heat-detection flight yesterday showed a second fire burning east of the Slater Fire. Estimated at 500 acres as of this morning, the Devils Fire is currently unstaffed and uncontained. Cause of the fire is currently unknown, though boots-on-the-ground confirmed the fire is burning north of Upper Devil’s Peak. Team 10 will also assume command of this fire. 

These two fires—burning in steep, rugged country—have prompted widespread evacuations. The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office issued mandatory evacuations along Highway 96 in the Klamath River corridor. Del Norte County evacuated the town of Gasquet and put surrounding areas on notice that they should be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Josephine County took similar precautions for the Illinois Valley area in Oregon. Due to resource shortages, it is especially important that residents heed evacuation orders and advisories, fire managers say. 

Additionally, Forest restrictions are in effect across Klamath National Forest, Six Rivers National Forest, and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. More information on these closures can be found on Inciweb. 

The fire management team cautions that these fires may cause some driving hazards, including reduced visibility. The Team requests that local drivers reduce speed and watch for increased fire traffic on area roads. 

September 9, 2020 at 4:22 PM

The wind driven wildfire has grown to an estimated 30,000 acres—moving in a northwesterly direction into Oregon. An estimated 150 homes were lost in the Happy Camp area. An evacuation order was issued for the town of Happy Camp as well as various roads adjacent to Happy Camp. Currently Highway 96 is closed from Fort Goff on the northeast side of Happy Camp and to Clear Creek on the southwest side. The Grayback Road is closed from Happy Camp northwest to Oregon. The community of Gasket, California has also been ordered to evacuate.

Initial attack fire fighters from the Klamath National Forest, CAL FIRE and local volunteers fire departments have been aggressively fighting the fire but high winds, high temperatures and very dry vegetation have hampered efforts. In addition, high winds and smoke have prevented use of air attack planes.

Incident Management Team 10 is arriving today. They will be taking over management of fire fighting efforts a 6 am, September 10, 2020.

A temporary evacuation center is available at the Seiad Volunteer Fire Department, 44601 Highway 96 in Seiad Valley, California 96086. An overnight evacuation center is available at the Karuk Tribal Wellness Center, 1403 Kahtisraam, Yreka, CA 96097.

———–

The Slater Fire started south of the Slater Butte Fire Lookout. By 8:30 am, September 8, 2020 the estimated size of the wildfire was 150 acres. By 4:00 pm the wildfire had increased to over 22,000 acres in size. Evacuation orders were implemented for various roads in the area as well as the community of Happy Camp. Current information on the evacuation orders is available on the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department Facebook. A temporary evacuation center is available at the Seiad Valley Volunteer Fire Department in Seiad, California. A evacuation center for large animals is available at the Siskiyou County Fairground in Yreka, CA.