Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lightning Fires in Siskiyou County

Yreka, CA- A storm moved across Siskiyou County yesterday afternoon and evening with little moisture and a significant amount of lightning—with over 955 down strikes recorded. As of early this morning the lightning had resulted in at least 26 lightning caused fires on the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll, Salmon/Scott Ranger District, and Goosenest Ranger District. The larger new fires on the Salmon/Scott Ranger District include the 100 to 150 acre Whites Fire, north of Eddy Gulch Lookout,  the 15 acre Leef Fire, north of Carter Meadows, and the Log Fire, estimated at 60 acres, which is burning up Shackleford Creek west of Ft. Jones, CA.

On the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District the larger new fires include the Beaver Fire, 150 acres in size, and the Cleghorn Fire, 12 acres in size—both located north of the Oak Knoll Work Station on Highway 96 as well as the Badger Fire is southeast of the Oak Knoll Work Station.

CAL FIRE currently has a total of 20 confirmed lighting caused fires on State protected lands during the last two days . The largest of these fires is 16 acres located  near Dome Mountain. The other 19 fires range in size from a single snag to five acres. All fires are contained and are currently staffed or in patrol status. All fires were in remote locations that were away from any residents or structures. 

Given the activity over the past few days and commitments to out of area wildfires, firefighting resources are being stretched thin.  CAL FIRE has ordered 2 more handcrews  and 15 more engines and had those orders filled yesterday. The Klamath National Forest has ordered additional air and ground resources.

Due to the extreme drought conditions that exist throughout the area, fuels are very receptive to fires started by lightning.  Even with some areas getting a good wetting rain, the fuels dry out quickly and a small smoldering fire can quickly grow to a major fire.

Fire staff continue to monitor the landscape for any additional fires that may show today as a result of predicted lightning.