Blazes continue march around Crater Lake, Northern California
Crater Lake National Park and numerous recreation areas in far Northern California were feeling the impact of fires Saturday.
The Pumice Complex burning in Crater Lake includes 18 fires, with the largest at 22 acres. The 17 other fires ranged from five acres to one-tenth of an acre, according a fire report issued Saturday.
Ten of the fires have lines around them, and six of those were in mop-up phase. The absence of roads and steep terrain within the park make it challenging to traverse some of the fire area, officials said.
Park visitors were being urged to use caution driving around the park because of increased traffic from fire vehicles.
Across the border in California, fire officials estimated Saturday that more than 3,000 acres were burning at various locations in the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County, forcing evacuations and a number of trail closures, including segments of the Pacific Crest Trail.
California National Incident Management Team No. 1 assumed command of the July Complex Saturday at 6 a.m. The complex includes the Leef, Whites and Log fires.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered at about 9 p.m. Friday by the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office to residents of Beaver Creek. A Red Cross shelter was set up at Jackson Street Elementary School at 405 Jackson St., in Yreka. The evacuation center can also accommodate small animals and livestock, officials said.
The Beaver fire, burning north of the Oak Knoll Work Station on Highway 96, was estimated at 600 acres.
The Whites fire, burning northeast of Eddy Gulch Lookout, forced closure of the Pacific Crest Trail from Carter Meadows north to Etna Summit. The fire, estimated at 1,300 acres, is in proximity to the PCT and a number of trails feeding into the PCT.
The Shackleford Trail is in close proximity to the Log Fire, estimated Saturday at 317 acres, burning in the Shackleford Creek drainage west of Fort Jones, Calif.
Shackleford Road 43N21 was closed from mile marker 1 to the Shackleford Trailhead, and the Shackleford Trail was closed from the trailhead to the junction of Black Meadows Trail. See www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/klamath/alerts-notices for the full closure orders.
Most of the major Northern California wildfires, started by lightning July 30, were continuing to grow, with the exception of the Leef fire, which was holding at about 15 acres, CAL FIRE officials said.
A new fire called the Little Deer fire had grown to 900 acres by Saturday afternoon.
The Little Deer fire was burning north of Grass Lake near Little Deer Mountain on the Goosenest Ranger District of the Klamath National Forest. Forest Service and CAL FIRE crews were finding it difficult to contain the fire due to extreme fire behavior and frequent spot fires.
The fire was burning very close to Highway 97, and motorists were encouraged to slow down and use caution when driving in the fire area.
Also Saturday, a 1,000-acre fire in the Trinity Alps Wilderness was burning in timber and brush. Crews were able to establish 5 percent containment on the blaze, known as the Coffee fire.
It was strongly recommended that people avoid the East Fork of the Coffee Creek, Granite Creek and the North Fork Coffee Creek trail systems.
Two smaller fires were also reported in the Trinity Alps, the Rays fire and the Poison fire.
The Rays fire was burning in a previous fire scar in brush, downed timber and snags, with active fire behavior and a moderate rate of spread. The 25-acre fire was reported to be 15 percent contained.
The Shasta-Trinity National Forest will transfer the command of the Rays fire to the Klamath National Forest due to its proximity to the forest boundary and other active fires on the neighboring forest. Approximately 44 personnel were staffing that fire.
The Poison fire, located near Deadman's Peak, was estimated at 6 acres Saturday and was burning in timber and brush. About 24 personnel were staffing the fire.
Additional fire information can be found at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/