Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name: Milepost 21
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: HIA
  • Size (acres): 100
  • Percent Contained: 90%
  • Estimate of Containment: July 26, 2020
  • Personnel: 213
  • Structures Destroyed: 0

MP 21, Hoopa Valley Tribe, BIA. Three miles south of Weitchpec, CA. Timber. Minimal fire behavior with creeping and smoldering. Area and road closures in effect.

July 27, 2020 at 8:17 AM

The Milepost 21 Fire is 90% contained today. There is a little more suppression repair to do and isolated stumpholes are still burning in the interior of the fire perimeter. Some parts of the fire will be monitored and patrolled in the steepest areas where hazards remain.

Beginning today, a smaller Type 3 firefighting organization will be in place to complete containment of the fire. The remaining work is focused on suppression repair. Portions of the dozer lines remain; they must be treated with water bars and covered with brush and then inspected before considered complete. A wood chipper will be brought in to chip up cut brush; wood chips are spread over areas disturbed by fire line construction to prevent later soil erosion. An excavator will be used to water-bar and place slash and cut-brush over the dozer lines. The firefighters will also assist the Hoopa Fire Department as needed with any new starts.

Weather for the area: Hot and dry weather conditions are expected to continue through the week. Good relative humidity recovery of 50% or higher will occur overnight. Thunderstorms are expected to the north and east of the fire area today; there is a slight chance for storms in the fire area. Winds of 6-12 mph, with gusts of 25 mph during the warmest part of the afternoon are expected.

Unless conditions change, this is the final update for the Milepost 21 Fire.

California Interagency Incident Management Team 11 appreciates the support of Hoopa Valley tribal members and the Hoopa Fire Department. We hope everyone remains healthy during these challenging pandemic times.

July 25, 2020 at 9:29 AM

The Milepost 21 Fire on the Hoopa Valley Reservation remains at 100 acres and not expected to grow in size. Fire crews have made excellent progress over the past few days with line construction around the fire. Containment is at 67% today with full containment expected by Sunday July 26, 2020. Fire activity is minimal and limited to interior smoldering and burn out.

Full suppression of this fire involves improving the containment lines, mopping up and suppression repair. Containment line improvement may include removing vegetation, chipping cut vegetation and clearing any debris that could roll downhill.

Mopping up refers to removing all sources of heat, such as stump-holes or cutting down snags adjacent to the fire-line along the fire perimeter.

Suppression repair means repairing any damage done in the course of containing the fire: putting water-bars in dirt roads to direct the flow of water and prevent erosion during the rainy season, chipping cut vegetation to spread over exposed soils and pulling back cut-vegetation over dozer lines.

Weather for the area: High pressure will build over the region and bring a drying trend to the fire area through the weekend. Mostly light, westerly onshore winds will continue for the next few days with fair to good overnight relative humidity recovery. Increasing mid-level moisture will introduce a chance of widely scattered thunderstorms late Sunday afternoon and Monday. The predicted weather forecast should not influence containment efforts.

July 24, 2020 at 12:23 PM

The Milepost 21 Fire is estimated at 100 acres, reduced from the previous estimate due to updated mapping and ground-truthing. The fire is within the Hoopa Valley Reservation. Containment is at 43% with minimal, creeping and smoldering fire behavior reported overnight.

The main resource concerns are high value timberland, cultural resources, and the Trinity River and Bull Creek watersheds. The fire is remaining in place on the steep slopes east of the Trinity River and north of Bull Creek. Please factor in extra drive time in if you are traveling on Hwy 96 north of the town of Hoopa due fire personnel and equipment in the area.

Containment lines are in place along the southern and eastern fire perimeter and dozer-built contingency lines have been improved on the northern boundary on Deer Springs Ridge. There is smoldering in the interior of the fire perimeter; smoke is coming from these areas. There is an additional fire perimeter to the east from a spot fire on Tuesday evening that is now completely surrounded by hand-line.

Current hazards to firefighters include burning stump holes and falling snags rolling downhill. Crews are mopping up the fire-line and chipping the cut brush on the dozer line along the ridge.

There is a small warming and drying trend for the next 2-3 days with good relative humidity recovery overnight; weather conditions are expected to remain stable for crews to make good progress in putting this fire out. Expect helicopter activity over the fire area and watch out for firefighters working in the area.

Wildland Firefighting in the time of Covid-19: To minimize contact between Hoopa Tribal members and the firefighters assigned to the fire, fire camp has been located off of the Hoopa Reservation.

After the inbriefing for the incident management team at the tribal fire department, firefighting personnel minimized entry into the building. Masks and social distancing have been in effect at the start. Firefighters travel from base camp to the fireline without stopping anywhere else on the Hoopa Reservation. Firefighters remain sequestered within their modules in fire camp.

Masks, frequent hand-washing and social distancing are mandatory. Food is served in “take out” containers and consumed away from the dining area. Representatives are sent to briefings in lieu of everyone attending. Firefighters are separated from the public as much as possible to maintain the health of all.