Two complexes of fires in northern California, shown on the maps, are seven miles apart but are on different national forests, which could be one reason they have not been combined into just one complex.
Salmon River Complex
The Salmon River Complex on the Klamath National Forest consists of at least two fires that as of early Sunday morning were about a tenth of a mile apart, burning 6 miles northeast of Forks of the Salmon, 2 miles northwest of Sawyers Bar, and 64 miles northwest of Redding. The Type 1 California Interagency Incident Management Team One assumed command of the Complex at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Orleans Complex comprises two fires on the Six Rivers National Forest. The Dance Fire is right at the community of Orleans and is burning on both sides of Highway 96. It started July 29 and is contained. The other is the Butler Fire 7 miles east of Orleans and about 49 miles northeast of Eureka. It was detected July 31, is listed at 3 percent containment, and has burned 1,463 acres. Northern California Interagency Team Two is managing the incident.
Salmon River Road, also known as Highway 93, is adjacent to three of these four fires and is closed.
Below is an update from the incident management team:
The fire reached the Morehouse Mine area, where structures are threatened. As of this morning, the fire lines are holding around those structures. The fire continues to burn mostly on the south side of the Salmon River in the area east of Butler Flat. Efforts to reach a spot fire on the north side of the river continue to be hampered by poor visibility and steep terrain. The fire was active around the perimeter yesterday and progressed across Lewis Creek (on the southern side) and into Grant Creek drainage (on the northeastern side). The fire is burning in the fire scars of the Hog Fire (1977). Difficult terrain, heavy vegetation, snags and poor access to the fire have continued to limit firefighting strategies. Crews are working today to open and utilize lines from the Somes Fire (2006).
All of these fires are burning in an area that is infamous for long-duration fires subject to frequent inversions that trap wildfire smoke, sometimes creating air quality and health issues for sensitive residents. The incident management teams are referring residents to these websites for more information about the smoke:
- Current air quality at Yreka
- Centers for Disease Control, wildfire smoke
- North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District
On Saturday dense smoke limited the use of aircraft and the ability of fire managers to get an aerial view of the fires. A USFS fixed-wing aircraft using infrared equipment mapped the Salmon River Complex Saturday night.