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Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name:
  • State:
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  • Size (acres):
  • Percent Contained:
  • Estimate of Containment:
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  • Structures Destroyed:

Ruth Complex, Six Rivers NF. IMT 1 (Minton). Four miles south of Ruth, CA. Timber, chaparral and short grass. Minimal fire behavior with smoldering, backing and creeping. Structures threatened. Trail closures in effect.

August 21, 2017 at 8:01 AM

A stagnant weather pattern kept heavy drift smoke from nearby fires over the Ruth Complex. As a result, temperatures remained mild overnight with fair relative humidity recoveries. Winds diminished overnight and became downslope over lower elevations and northeasterly over the ridges.

Today, the Eclipse will delay the normal temperature rise. Drift smoke will once again affect the Ruth Complex and moderate weather conditions. Temperatures will be slightly cooler from yesterday,in the 80s and lower 90s with relative humidities in the 25-percent range. Northeasterly winds in the morning will give way to westerly winds in the afternoon. Some drift smoke will remain.

August 19, 2017 at 10:36 AM

A combination of handcrews, dozers, and helicopters coordinating their suppression efforts resulted in significant progress being made Friday, particularly on the western side of the Willie Fire. They contained two spot fires west of Rock Creek and continued building containment lines, tying in with natural features, including creek beds and rocky slopes, that can help keep the fire in check.

Despite continued hot, dry weather, fire behavior moderated somewhat yesterday as smoke from fires north of the Ruth Complex provided some shading. The 3,071-acre Willie Fire is now 65 percent contained. Firefighters’ priority for today will be building and securing containment lines along the western and northwestern perimeter where there is active burning.

In addition, they will continue to mop up and secure the line around the remainder of the fire and begin to repair areas affected by the fire suppression efforts. Weather permitting, helicopters will assist the fire suppression effort with water drops as needed. On the 1,545-acre Dutchman Fire, which is fully contained, crews expect to wrap up repair work tomorrow. As operational needs decrease, crews and other resources are being released and reassigned to more-active fires in the region.

August 18, 2017 at 9:09 AM

Thursday’s very hot, dry conditions caused a flare-up on the west side of the Willie Fire near Rock Creek and North Fork Eel River. What had been a smoldering fire became a surface fire of moderate intensity with single-tree torching. Variable winds helped fan the flames, causing two spot fires, approximately five acres each, to get established outside containment lines west of Rock Creek on the northwest corner of the fire. As a result, the Willie Fire is now estimated at 3,022 acres. It is 65 percent contained. Today, the operational priority for firefighters is to suppress the spot fires and build containment lines on the western edge of the fire at the confluence of the Rock Creek and Eel River drainages. They will get assistance from air tankers dropping retardant and helicopters making bucket drops. Crews will also scout further north and west of the fire for favorable areas in which to construct contingency firelines should the fire continue to grow. Firefighters on the northern, eastern, and southern perimeter of the fire continue to secure existing containment lines.

Crews are wrapping up work on the 1,545-acre Dutchman Fire, which is fully contained. They continue to remove hoses and pumps from the fireline and repair areas affected by fire suppression efforts. Those repairs will help reduce the likelihood of erosion in the burned area.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Unstable air moving over the fire area today is expected to increase fire behavior. The combination of hot, dry conditions, dry vegetation, and erratic winds could cause fire growth and spot fires. During the morning operational briefing, Incident Commander Mike Minton encouraged firefighters to be alert and “prepared for new (fire) starts. It’s not out of the question that you’ll find yourself in initial attack.” Temperatures will again be in the upper 90s, climbing above 100 in protected canyons. Winds within the fire perimeter are variable and influenced by the rivers, creek drainages, and slopes. Light northeast winds over the area in the morning will shift to westerly winds in the afternoon. Temperatures are expected to moderate into the weekend.

August 17, 2017 at 9:24 AM

Hotshot crews made significant progress constructing and securing fireline around the Willie Fire Wednesday. The 3,007-acre fire is now 65 percent contained. If weather conditions are favorable, firefighters may conduct a defensive firing operation, using aerial ignition, on the northwest corner of the fire to reduce the amount of unburned vegetation between the fireline and the main fire. That would reduce the likelihood of the fire spreading across Rock Creek and the North Fork of the Eel River. Crews continue to look for smoldering pockets within the perimeter of the fire, and helicopter bucket drops are helping to douse any hotspots they find.

While the 1,545-acre Dutchman Fire is fully contained, firefighters will extinguish hotspots near the containment line that were detected during a recent infrared flight. Crews are removing excess equipment—such as fire hose and pumps—from the fireline. They are also repairing areas affected by fire suppression activities, for example, chipping vegetation along roads to reduce the future fire hazard, constructing water bars with dozers to reduce erosion during future rain events, and assessing fence repair needs.

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Weather and Fire Behavior: The smoke affecting the Mad River and Ruth communities yesterday and today was not from the Ruth Complex fires but from the Eclipse Complex on the Klamath National Forest to the north. High pressure will remain over the region, resulting in the hottest, driest conditions the fire area has experienced since the fires started. Maximum temperatures today will be well into the 90s with triple digits possible in lower canyons. The minimum relative humdity will drop to high teens and low twenties. Light northeast winds this morning will gradually become westerly by afternoon, with gusts up to 15 miles possible. These hot dry conditions can lengthen the fire’s active burning period; however, smoke moving into the area from fires elsewhere may provide some shading, moderating fire behavior.

August 13, 2017 at 10:05 AM

California Interagency Incident Management Team 5, a Type 1 team lead by Incident Commander Mike Minton, assumed management of the Ruth Complex at 6:00 P.M. yesterday. The Ruth Complex consists of 4 fires: Dutchman (1,545 acres), Willie (1,600 acres), Secret (50 acres) and Spout (4 acres).

Current Situation: The Dutchman and the Secret Fires are located south of Ruth Lake and north of Shannon Butte. Today on the Dutchman Fire, firefighters will focus on constructing and strengthening containment lines. Crews are also protecting a structure on the north side of the fire. The Secret Fire has not increased in size for two days. Crews expect to complete mop up operations today.

The Willie Fire began east of State Route 502 and south of Packwood Flat, in the North Fork Wilderness. Fire behavior has been moderate with short runs up slopes and spotting. The fire continues to spread eastward and has reached the northwestern edge of the Yolla-Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness. Today crews will rely on helicopters to assist with containment activities along the eastern and northern portions of the fire. Structure protection firefighters will are protecting the line cabin on the southern side of the fire.

The Spout Fire is located southeast of Ruth Lake. Crews have successfully contained this fire and will monitor the area for the next several days.

Weather and Fire Behavior: A passing upper level trough has brought seasonably cool weather with slightly higher humidity and light winds this morning. The inversion layer will lift mid to late morning. Temperatures will rise this afternoon to the lower 90s, leading to gusty winds. Fire behavior is expected to increase with the rising temperatures this afternoon. Vegetation in the area is extremely dry and will carry fire well after sunset today.

Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR): Due to ongoing aerial operations, a TFR has been imposed over the Ruth Complex. This means all non-operations related planes and drones are not allowed within the TFR.

August 10, 2017 at 7:51 AM

Fire is burning with a moderate rate of spread. Largest fires in complex Dutchman Fire: 600 acres, 0% contained, Secret Fire: 45 acres, 0% contained both with structure threat. All other fires remain under 5 acres.