Residents of the Seiad Valley west of Yreka in northern California received a 12-hour evacuation notice today at 9:00 a.m. from the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department. The notice informs residents that the Goff Fire is approaching and that they may have to evacuate. The 12-hour notification process includes phone calls to residents’ land-line phones and door-to-door notification by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department.
We’ll see if Siskiyou County is more on the ball than the Jefferson County system in Colorado was back in March. A reverse-911 system there, intended to automatically call residents to advise them to evacuate may have contributed to the three fatalities during the first few hours of the Lower North Fork Fire on March 26 southwest of Denver. All three victims on that fire called 9-1-1 during the early stages of the fire and talked to dispatchers, but they were not told to evacuate.
Although two of the three blazes in the Fort Complex have been mostly contained, the Goff Fire in the Klamath River drainage is still growing.
The Goff Fire is at 11,712 acres and 15 percent contained. Late last week, the southeast edge of the fire was about three miles from Seiad Valley, according to the Ashland Daily Tidings. “Our first priority is the protection of the Seiad Valley community,” said Mike Ferris, info officer with the USFS.
“A lot of our focus and attention is to reinforce the fireline around the southeast flank of the fire where it has the potential to come down and threaten the community,” Ferris said. “The work is all hand-line because there is no opportunity to use dozers.” Ferris said that crews are available to battle the Goff Fire. “We’re getting the resources we need. We had three hotshot crews come in this morning.”
A structure protection unit is assigned in case the fire approaches the community; they’re assessing structure defense along Seiad Creek Road. Ferris said there are 85 homes and 10 outbuildings in the area.
Closures near the fire include a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. The 403-acre Lick Fire in the Applegate River drainage and the 977-acre Hello Fire in the Red Buttes Wilderness in the Fort Complex are no longer active; the Lick Fire is 97 percent contained and the Hello Fire is at 83 percent containment. Command of the Hello and Lick Fires has been transferred back to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. No additional updates on the Fruit or Lick Fires are expected unless conditions change. Both are in the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
All three fires in the complex were ignited by a thunderstorm during the first week of August.