Jessica Cejnar / Monday, Sept. 28 @ 11:14 a.m. / Fire
More Resources Aid Fight Against Slater, Devil Fires; Red Flag Warning, Heat Advisory In Place For Interior
Though a heat advisory and red flag warning is in effect Monday, officials battling the Slater Fire are optimistic about keeping control of containment lines within the blaze’s footprint.
Hand crews will go in and clear out vegetation on the west side of U.S. 199 in the Monkey Ridge area instead of using prescribed burn, said Mike Granger, operations chief for Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2. The area received 7/10ths of an inch of rain about three days ago and fuels aren’t receptive to prescribed burns, he said.
“Vegetation is moister in here than was originally thought,” Granger said. “There’s one small spot they’re controlling. They’ve got hand line around all that. It’s looking well.”
More fire crews have come to the area to fight the Slater and Devil fires, Granger said. As a result, they’re “attacking this fire on the fire’s edge itself,” he said.
The Slater Fire is an estimated 154,102 acres and 38 percent contained, according to a Sunday evening update on InciWeb. The Devil Fire has burned an estimated 8,410 acres and is 18 percent contained, according to InciWeb:
Slater Fire: Crews will continue to hold and improve the line from the Oregon/California border on the west side of Highway 199 east to the Sucker Creek area. The primary direction for firefighters is mopup and patrol. Crews are finding fewer hotspots each day. Many areas have hose lay to bring water to the line and assist crews with mopup. The areas near communities such as Sun Star and Takilma are in final patrol status and the remaining out-of-state structural resources will start to head home on Tuesday.
Crews will look for opportunities over the next several days to complete small firing operations to clean up fuels between the main body of the fire and the constructed fireline in the Monkey Creek Ridge area, the area south of Browntown to Number Eight Gulch, and along the east side of the fire. Crews will continue to remove hazard trees from the roadside along the Grayback Road.
Crews in the Happy Camp area spent the day mopping up hotspots that were well inside the fire’s perimeter. Operations reported very few issues. The Thompson Creek area had debris rolling outside the fireline, causing a 1/3-acre spot that was caught quickly. Crews will continue digging line as close to the fire as they can and use small firing operations where necessary to clean up the fireline. Firefighters continue to construct direct fire line and prepare roads above Thompson Creek. Ariel ignition is planned to establish indirect sections of containment line above Thompson Creek. Crews continue treating hazard trees along Grayback Road.
Devil Fire: Crews on the Devil Fire have made good progress on the southeast side of the fire and lines held along the Butte Fork Trail, the 1040 Road and on the southwest corner of the fire. Firefighters continue to build line along the southwest side and are mopping up hotspots and cleaning up the line as they go. The south edge of the fire has been cold trailed from the Pacific Crest Trail towards Fort Goff Creek.
Weather: A Red Flag Warning remains in effect through Monday evening for high winds and low relative humidity. Temperatures in the valley are expected to be in the 90’s this week and relative humidity is expected to remain in the teens, creating conditions where any new fire start could spread rapidly.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning Monday for the North Coast interior, including Del Norte County. Forecasters are predicting east to northeast winds 15-25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. Highest gusts will occur on ridgetops, according to the forecast.
Daytime humidity of 5-15 percent is predicted. New or existing fires are predicted to spread rapidly.
A heat advisory is also in place for the area with coastal temperatures ranging from 80-90 degrees and 90-100 degree temperatures in coastal river valleys, according to the National Weather Service.
Smoke from the August and Red Salmon complex wildfires may affect the region, according to the National Weather Service.
Meanwhile, the Northern Rockies Team 2 and Oregon State Fire Marshal's Blue Incident Management Team will host a virtual public meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at www.facebook.com/SlaterAndDevilFireInformation.