Wildfires in Modoc County, California add another 11,000 acres

The Modoc July Complex of fires in northeast California has now covered 50,916 acres.

cove fire

Above: Cove Fire, July 29, 2017. Uncredited photo on Inciweb.

(Originally published at 11:28 a.m. PDT July 31, 2017)

Two of the wildfires in the Modoc July Complex of fires in northeast California were very active Sunday, adding a combined 11,293 acres to bring the total burned area to 50,916 acres.

The Type 2 Incident Management Team transitioned to a Type 1 Team Monday morning, so we are in the usual dead zone for up to date fire information — yesterday was a time when the previous team does not want to step on the toes of the incoming team and today the new team is still getting their feet on the ground. This transition period can also be a time of heightened danger for firefighters out on the fire.

But the new team provided some additional information after 11 a.m. today, Monday.

map cove fire
Map of the Cove Fire in Modoc County, California. The red line was the perimeter at 11:30 p.m. PDT July 30. The white line was the perimeter 24 hours before. The red dots represent heat detected by a satellite at 3:19 a.m. PDT July 31, 2017.

But we do know, thanks to overflights of the fires by a satellite and fixed wing aircraft, that the Cove Fire spread aggressively to the east and southeast. It is now about five miles northwest of Adin, a town that had 272 residents in the 2010 census.

Conditions Sunday along the southern edge permitted tactical firing operations from the 40N14 Road to the 40N09 Road to aid in securing the southern edge of the fire. Firefighters also conducted firing operations from the 40N14 Road to the 40N12 Road to strengthen firelines. The northern fireline held overnight with no additional fire spread.

Modoc July Complex of fires california
Map of the fires in the north portion of the Modoc July Complex of fires in Modoc County, California. The red line was the perimeter at 11:30 p.m. PDT July 30. The white line was the perimeter 24 hours before.

The other active fire in the Complex was the Steele Fire which also grew on the southeast side but did not spread as much as the Cove Fire farther south. Northeast winds pushed the fire across the 136 Road to the south in an additional location. Crews and dozers contained the 40-acre slopover and by Monday morning had mopped up 50 feet inside the line.

There has been very little growth on the Lake and Rimrock fires.

The weather forecast for Monday through Thursday for Canby, north of the Cove Fire, calls for temperatures around 100 with relative humidities about 10 percent. The wind, at 2 to 6 mph, will be from variable directions during the period. An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect for Tuesday through Thursday.

All of the articles about the Modoc July Complex of fires can be found here, with the most recent at the top. 

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills. Google+

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