Forest fire. Photo Credit: Robert LeBlanc/USFS
Photo Credit | Robert LeBlanc, USFS

SIT REP 2 | OCTOBER 13, 2020


Location | The AUGUST COMPLEX is comprised of several fires in this very large Complex.  Fires are burning in Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Lake and Coulsa Counties in California.

Date/Time | These fires started on August 16, 2020 around 2037 hours PT.

Cause | Lightning.

Trees ablaze. Photo Credit: Mike McMillan/USFS
Photo Credit | Mike McMillan, USFS


Overall Size Up | This is the largest wildfire burning in the State topping out at 984,404 acres with  a 51% containment status.

Challenges | Fire Officials continue with many challenges when large wildfires are burning in their home state from resource shortages across the fire zones, which have seen their share of spreading thin when various needs flare up.

West Zone Fire | Managed by CAL FIRE (Parkes). 123,381 acres.   55% contained. Fire resources include;  138 National Guardsmen (CA), along with firefighters from states of Montana, Texas, Washington and New Jersey.  There are approximately 195 miles of fire line.  1,600 total firefighters on the ground and in air.  Active fire behavior overnight with torching and spotting.  Structure protection remains in place and around the community of Zenia with fire moving east and west.  Fire activity by firefighters were hampered by flames near the North Zone and as it crossed over the containment lines north of Zenia. Active monitoring of fire burning in the Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness is on-going by Fire managers.

South Zone – Mendocino National Forest | Managed by PNW Team 2 (Allen), formerly known as the DOE FIRE.  All hose, fixtures, pumps and other fire apparatus have been moved out of this zone for potential use in the northwestern corner of this Complex. Patrol status has been achieved at Lake Pillsbury, Rice Creek and and nearby areas. Sunday will be a transitional day with the Pacific NW Team 2 moving strategies and resources over to the northwestern corner. They will join forces with the West and North Zones.

Hazards | Firefighters are tirelessly working to remove hazards in and near homes to allow residents to repopulate but they must do so that is safe for them to enter the area.  Some of the hazards include:  falling trees, downed powerlines and hotspots. Fire danger remains high due to dry vegetation, drought conditions, low relative humidity, record temps and potential wind events.

Fire and Law Enforcement officials are pleading with residents not to entry closed off areas for the above referenced reasons. They are also asking you all to be just a little patient while longer while they work to clear these hazards.

Damage Assessment | 3 structures damaged. 21primary and 31 other minor structures destroyed.  $72,800,000 cost-to-date in fire suppression and containment expenses.

Threatened | There are 11,310 structures currently threatened.


Wildfire. Photo Credit: Mike McMillan/USFS
Photo Credit | Mike McMillan, USFS

Unified Command | Mendocino National Forest is in Unified Command with CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit and the Humboldt-Del Norte Unit.  Fire operations is split up into 3 zones:  West, North and South.

Fire Staffing | There are 1,641 fire personnel that represent some of the agencies that include:  Flower Mound FD, South Metro Fire Rescue, McKinney Fire (TX), SCG Emergency Services, US Army North #JFLCCC, Fort Worth FD.

Additionally, there are 30 crews, 17 helicopters, 181 engines, 39 bulldozers and 44 water tenders assigned.

One firefighter injury has been reported.


Fire near firefighter gear cache. Photo Credit: Mike McMillan/USFS
Photo Credit | Mike McMillan, USFS

Evacuation Warnings

Zone HA | east of Bell Springs Road to Trinity county line and south of Pipe Creek to Medocino County line.

Zone HB | South of Fort Sewart Road, Ware Ranch Road.  West of the Trinity County line. East of the Eel River at Powers Creek.  North of the Eel River at Pipe Creek.

Zone HD | South of Ohman Creek, Pepperwood Springs.  West of Dyerville Loop.  North of Benbow.  East of Hwy 101.

Zone HG | South of Hayfield Creek.  East of the Eel River to the Trinity County line. North of Stewart Ranch Road.

Zone HH | South of Stapp Road.  East of Baker Creek, Little Van Duzen River to the Trinity County line. North of Bear Creek.

Zone HI | South of Olsen Creek. West of Baker Creek, Little Van Duzen River.  East of Alderpoint Road, Kneeland Road.  North of Hayfield Creek.

Road Closures

SR 3 | at Rattlesnake Road and at SR 36.

SR 36 | at Rattlesnake Road. At Post Mountain. At the Humboldt County line.

Zenia Bluffs Road at the Humboldt County line.

Zenia Lake Mountain Road at Peaks Road.

Kekawaka Creek Road to Mendocino County line.

Forest consumed by wildfire. Photo Credit: Mike McMillan/USFS
Photo Credit | Mike McMillan, USFS



Zone N | North of Middle Fork of the Eel River including the Eel River Ranger Station and Black Butte Store.  West and South of the National Forest Boundary.  East of Williams Creek.  (CAL FIRE)

Road Closures

FH7 (Mendocino Pass Road) and M1 (Indian Dick Road) at the Eel River.  Hwy 162 (Mendocino Pass Road) at Short Creek.

Helicopter flying near smoke plume. Photo Credit: Mike McMillan/USFS
Photo Credit | Mike McMillan, USFS


Evacuation Orders | GO NOW!

Hidden Valley, Indian Valley, Bear Wallow, Rowdy Bear and Friend Mountain. Ruth and  Ruth Lake, forest Glen, Post Mountain, Trinity Pines, Three forks, Hettenshaw Valley, Mad River, Zenia, Kettenpom, Island Mountain, Kettempom South to Kekawaka Creek, all areas south of SR 36 to the Trinity County line.

Evacuation Warning | GET READY!

Wildwood area, Peanut and area south of SR 299.


Sources | CAL FIRE, Inciweb, NIFC.

  (c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 10/3/2020 1930 PT