Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Thursday, Aug. 17 @ 8:11 p.m. / Fire
Updated Smith River Complex Info: Pioneer Road, Panther Flat Campground Area Ordered to "Go Now"; Gasquet Elevated to Level 2 Evacuation Order; Hiouchi At A Level 1 "Be Ready"
From the Six Rivers National Forest:
Gasquet, Calif., August 17, 2023— The Six Rivers National Forest has received approximately 150 lightning strikes across the forest since Tuesday evening, resulting in at least 27 confirmed fires. Thus far, there are 16 confirmed fires on the Gasquet Ranger District with an estimated acreage of 7,300 acres. Local resources have been focusing on identifying the locations of the fires and triaging suppression efforts on those posing the highest risk to life and property.
The fires are burning in extremely rugged terrain with limited access. A year of below average rainfall has the vegetation unseasonably dry, causing a high resistance to control. Despite these difficult conditions, ground and air resources have been engaged in full suppression efforts.
California Interagency Incident Management Team 15 was briefed this afternoon and the team will assume command of the Smith River Complex tomorrow August 18th. The fires within the Smith River Complex are threatening numerous communities, highly used travel corridors (Highway 199 remains closed), critical transmission lines, and other natural and cultural resources. Focusing on suppressing the fires threatening these areas will remain the priority for the coming days.
Evacuation orders have been placed by the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office, if you are in the area please sign up for their Community Alert Systemto receive emergency notifications. Evacuation levels as of 6:45pm, today August 17 are as follows:
Level 3 “Go Now”: Patrick Creek, Little Jones Creek, Copper Creek Drainage, Coon Creek/ 16n19 17n07, Washington Flat, Pioneer Road, Panther Flat Campground Area
Level 2 “Be Set”: High Divide, Rowdy Creek, Gasquet from Pioneer Road to Slant Bridge
Level 1 “Be Ready”: French Hill, Big Flat/Rock Creek, Low Divide, Hiouchi from Slant Bridge to the east end of North Bank Road
County road 316, Shelly Creek,
County Road 315 Holiday Mine
County Road 311 Old Gasquet Toll Road
County Road 305 Weimer Road
Forest Service Roads 16N19 and 17N07
U.S. Highway 199 is fully closed in Del Norte County from Pioneer Road to Oregon Mountain Road (PM 16 to 31) due to the fires. The road is expected to be closed through the night, and there is no estimated time of reopening. A hard closure is in place on U.S. 199 at the Agriculture Station near the Oregon border. For the latest road conditions please visit quickmap.dot.ca.gov
U.S. Forest Service campgrounds in the area are closed, this includes Patrick Creek, Grassy Flat, Panther Flat, and Big Flat Campgrounds.
The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds (421 US-101 N, Crescent City, CA 95531) for those who are impacted. Red Cross disaster workers are partnering with local officials to help ensure evacuees get the assistance they need and will be providing meals and snacks, access to comfort kits and other supplies.