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Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name: Slink, Coleville
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: HTF
  • Size (acres): 26,752
  • Percent Contained: 84%
  • Estimate of Containment: September 26, 2020
  • Personnel: 178
  • Structures Destroyed: 0

Slink, Humboldt-Toiyabe NF, USFS. Three miles west of Coleville, CA. Timber, brush and short grass. Minimal fire behavior. Area, road and trail closures in effect.

September 20, 2020 at 11:54 AM

Yesterday’s light winds allowed helicopters to fly throughout the day, supporting firefighters with bucket drops as well as back hauling some equipment that is no longer needed, such as hose and portable pumps, off the fireline. Similar operations will take place today, firefighters will continue to secure and improve containment lines and utilize aircraft whenever possible. Suppression repair work will also continue in various portions of the fire.

Evacuations

There are no evacuations or highway closures.

September 13, 2020 at 7:54 AM

The ignitions from yesterday remained active all night, backing down to the valley bottoms in a few places. Smoke dissipated around 1100 today. Shifting winds along with low relative humidity caused the fore to become more active. Flanking, group torching, running, and short range spotting fire behavior were witnessed as soon as the smoke cleared. The most active fire behavior is limited to the northwest and south side of the fire as it continues to spread into the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. Minimal fire behavior occurred on the east flanks, all within current containment lines, The fire has potential to add significant growth in the next few days, as winds shift out of the south, smoke clears, and instability rises to a Haines Index of 6. Rugged terrain, record dry fuels, and shifting winds increase the suppression difficulty.

September 11, 2020 at 2:58 PM

Fire personnel working in the area of Mineral Mountain are reporting that the fire is burning in a mosaic pattern. This means that there are patches of burned and unburned areas across the landscape. Yesterday, fire behavior was moderate with light surface spread. Today, crews will focus their efforts in areas around Mineral Mountain and the East Fork Carson River drainage on the NW and W sides of the fire. These crews will be installing pumps and hose lays to assist with suppression efforts. Fire personnel will continue to repair line and return hose and pumps back to camp from the south end of the fire.

Fire Managers use many tools to suppress fire. Wildland firefighters will intentionally ignite small fires in the path of an oncoming wildfire in order to burn the nearby vegetation and deprive the larger fire of fuel before it arrives. This can be done in many ways. One way is using helicopters to drop plastic spheres called “ping pong balls.” A delayed exothermic reaction results in ignition of the ball and adjacent fuels. The helicopter is able to drop these in a strategic pattern so the fire burns at a low intensity and consumes fuel in front of the main fire.

Evacuations are no longer in effect for Cunningham Lane south to the town of Walker. Highway 395 is open.

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has temporarily closed all lands, including backcountry and wilderness areas, located in California on the Carson and Bridgeport Ranger Districts as of 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10. All campgrounds (developed and dispersed), day-use areas, trailheads, trails, and roads are closed to the public. No recreational activities will be allowed, including camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, or operating off-highway vehicles, etc. To view the closure order, please visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/7105/55024/.

September 5, 2020 at 3:02 PM

Temperatures are expected to be extremely hot and dry today with ridgetop winds out of the east through the morning and expecting the winds to shift in the later afternoon out of the west. The fire is located in extremely steep terrain which can cause the wind to flow in various directions and affect the fire behavior. Heenan Lake is closed to the public.

Yesterday, fire personnel experienced extreme fire behavior with crowning and spotting. The fire continued to spread to the north and west. Additional resources were deployed to these areas. Fire managers expect the fire to continue to make uphill runs in the Silver King Creek drainage. The west side of the fire burned past Mineral Mountain towards the south. The northwest side of the fire is approaching the east fork of the Caron River. Firefighters are working to improve lines in the southern part of the fire to minimize effects to the Marine Corps Training Center and the Incident Management Team is working closely with the Marine Corps on scouting the training grounds south of the fire for potential contingency lines.

A Closure Order has been put in place by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest for the Slink Fire. The Order can be found by going to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/htnf/alerts-notices/?aid=61374. We ask the public to please stay out of the area for their safety as well as the safety of the fire personnel.

Additionally, the Bureau of Land Management issued a Closure Order for the fire area, for information please go to: https://www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-temporarily-closes-public-lands-support-slink-fire-suppression-efforts.

The Marine Corps has provided a day sleeping area for some of the night shift fire crews. The Marine Corps has also provided a crash rescue vehicle to the fire as an asset. Their efforts are much appreciated.

September 2, 2020 at 8:42 AM

Today, crews will continue constructing handline and reinforce retardant line that was put in yesterday by airtankers. The west side of the fire remains active, and firefighters will continue to establish handline while abiding by wilderness guidelines. The fire also continues to move south in the little Cannon Creek drainage. Another main priority is the Mountain Warfare Training Center and fire management is working closely with the Marine Corps to protect that area.

The Sierra Front Team 2 (Fraser) will be transitioning to Great Basin Team 6 (Chadwick), tomorrow at 6 a.m.

Weather conditions can greatly affect fire behavior so they are closely monitored by fire managers and firefighters. Overnight humidities will continue to be poor and very hot and dry temperatures will remain through the weekend.

September 2, 2020 at 7:31 AM

All evacuations in the towns of Walker and Coleville have been lifted and Highway 395 is now open to traffic.

The fire is now 11,000 acres. Air operations have been a challenge for the Slink Fire due to dense smoke creating poor visibility in the last few days. Yesterday, however, clearer air gave aircraft the opportunity to engage in firefighting efforts for the entire operational shift. Several retardant drops were made by heavy airtankers, single engine airtankers and very large airtankers, also known as VLATS. A VLAT is a converted passenger jetliner that can carry up to 12,000 gallons of fire retardant. The combination of fixed wing retardant drops and helicopter water drops greatly supported firefighters on the eastern and southern portions of the fire.

Because of the proximity to the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, the Marine Corps personnel have offered assistance to the fire. They are being utilized in several ways to support the fire camp and logistical needs.

“The cooperation between the Marine Corps and the Incident Management team has been outstanding. They have been a valuable asset and we greatly appreciate their help. When we have needed anything, we didn’t even have to ask, they were already doing it,” said Scott Fraser, Sierra Front Team 2 Incident Commander.

A type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered and will be taking over the fire in the next few days.

September 1, 2020 at 5:13 PM

September 1, 2020 at 9:46 AM

The Slink Fire, influenced by dry fuels, topography and winds, made a significant run towards the towns of Walker and Coleville yesterday afternoon. Fire behavior moderated somewhat overnight but continued to grow and evacuations and road closures all remain in effect. The fire is currently estimated at 8,300 acres and 5% contained.

Today, firefighters will continue their work, going directly along the fire’s edge wherever possible to work to increase containment and slow progression of the fire. Structure protection will continue to take place should the need arise. Because of the predicted weather and fuel conditions, the fire has the potential to exhibit similar behavior as was seen yesterday. Fire officials would like to urge the public and area residents to stay up to date with current fire conditions and be prepared in case the fire makes another run today. Visit https://www.readyforwildfire.org/prepare-for-wildfire/ready-set-go/ for evacuation checklists and information on how to be prepared.

Additional resources have been ordered, however, due to significant fire activity in the state and across the nation, fire resources are in high demand and not always readily available. A type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered and will be arriving in the next day.

Air operations have been a challenge for the Slink Fire due to dense smoke. In addition to the Slink Fire, multiple other fires in California have contributed to the dense smoke and poor air quality in the area. Visit https://fire.airnow.gov/ to view updated smoke impacts.

August 31, 2020 at 9:11 PM

Influenced by dry fuels, topography and winds, the Slink Fire made a substantial run towards the towns of Walker and Coleville at approximately 3 p.m. this afternoon. The fire has grown to 6,500 acres, with 5% containment.

The follow areas are under evacuation:

  • Cunningham Lane south to the town of Walker
  • The entire town of Walker, on both sides of Highway 395

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Evacuees can go to Topaz Lodge and coordinate with the Red Cross. U.S Highway 395 is closed from Topaz Lane north of Coleville to Eastside Lane in the town of Walker.

Today, firefighters experienced extreme fire behavior, with wind driven runs, crown fire and long-range spotting. Multiple fire whirls caused rapid growth towards both Walker and Coleville. Additional resources have been ordered, however due to significant fire activity in the state and across the nation, fire resources are in high demand not always readily available.

Firefighter’s main priority tonight and tomorrow will be providing structure protection in the Coleville and Walker areas if the need arises. Another area of concern is the Iceberg Wilderness on the west side of the fire. Based on tomorrow’s expected winds and low humidities, firefighters expect to continue to experience extreme fire behavior.

Air operations has been a challenge due to dense smoke, hampering the ability to use fixed wing aircraft most of the day. In addition to the Slink Fire, multiple other fires in California have contributed to the dense smoke and poor air quality in the area. Visit https://fire.airnow.gov/ to view updated smoke impacts.

August 31, 2020 at 9:31 AM

The Slink Fire, located in the Slinkard Valley two miles west of Coleville, California, saw another active night last night. Around 6 p.m., fire behavior and activity increased, especially on the south end of the fire near the Rodriguez Flat area, burning in heavier fuels. Also on the south end, the fire got established into Snodgrass Creek area, a tributary to Silver King Creek.

Yesterday, crews worked to secure an anchor point in Slinkard Valley. Air operations were able to aid suppression efforts in the morning, however, fixed wing operations were suspended midafternoon due to dense smoke and poor visibility. Several retardant drops were made to hamper future ignition and slow the fire’s eastward spread. Helicopters were able to continue their work cooling areas of the fire with bucket drops throughout the entire day.

Today, firefighters will be going directly along the fire’s edge wherever possible, using hose to cool the fire edge as well as constructing handline in several areas of the fire. Three hotshot crews have now arrived on the fire and will be inserted in various places on the fire to construct and secure handline, which is the clearing away vegetation down to mineral soil in order to create a barrier between the fire and its future fuel sources. A dozer will also be utilized to construct fire breaks, particularly near communities for added precaution. Several helicopters will aid in the suppression effort today, along with fixed wing aircraft if conditions allow. Another mapping flight is planned for this evening, which will likely show an increase in acreage.

The Little Antelope Pack Station on Mill Creek Road has been evacuated as a precaution. There are currently no other evacuations or closures.

August 30, 2020 at 9:57 PM

The Slink Fire, located in the Slinkard Valley two miles west of Coleville, California, burned actively throughout the day’s operational shift, growing to 4,762 acres with 5% containment. The fire continues to exhibit extreme fire behavior due to dry fuel conditions, winds and topography alignment.

Today, firefighters experienced some crown fire, uphill runs and short range spotting as the fire spread in all directions. Air operations were able to aid suppression efforts in the morning, however, fixed wing operations were suspended midafternoon due to dense smoke and poor visibility. Helicopters were able to continue their work cooling areas of the fire with bucket drops throughout the entire day. The main focus of today’s operations was the east side of the fire above the community of Coleville, California, where several retardant drops were made to hamper future ignition and slow the fire’s eastward spread. Retardant is an effective suppression tactic but needs to be used in conjunction with firefighters on the ground, so hotshot crews will be inserted into the area tomorrow to secure the work of today’s aircraft with handline.

Fire crews also continued working today to strengthen an anchor point in Slinkard Valley. An anchor point is an advantageous location where firefighters can start building fireline. A good anchor point is important, as it minimizes the chance of being flanked by fire while the line is being constructed.

The Little Antelope Pack Station on Mill Creek Road has been evacuated as a precaution. There are currently no other evacuations or closures.

Sierra Front Team 2 (Fraser), a type 3 Incident Management Team, took over command of the Slink Fire this afternoon. Resources continue to arrive on the fire, though significant fire activity throughout the nation means firefighters are in high demand and not always readily available.