Red Bank Fire grows quickly in Northern California

The fire is 20 miles west of Red Bluff

Red Bank Fire South Fire September 6
The red dots represent heat on the South and Red Bank Fires detected by a satellite at 2:54 a.m. PDT September 6, 2019. Some areas of the Red Bank Fire are burning in light vegetation which can burn and then cool quickly before the next satellite overflight and therefore are not detected by the sensors. This means the fire is probably larger than indicated here.

(UPDATED at 11 a.m. PDT September 6, 2019)

The Red Bank Fire that was reported at 8:19 a.m. on September 5 was active Thursday night according to heat detecting sensors during a satellite overflight at 2:54 a.m. PDT Friday morning. (see map above)

CAL FIRE, in their new shortened incident reporting format, said the fire had burned 6,500 acres. The Red Bank Fire is being suppressed by CAL FIRE, while another fire, the South Fire four miles to the southwest, is the responsibility of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Overnight at the Cannon Road weather station the relative humidity increased to 63 percent and recorded a minimum temperature of 64. Between 8 p.m. Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday the wind was out of the southeast at 8 to 13 mph with gusts of 20 to 25, but then shifted to come out of the northwest at 1 to 3 mph, a 180-degree change in direction.

The weather forecast on Friday calls for 89 degrees and 22 percent RH. The slight northwest wind should continue until 11 a.m. when it will then be from the east-northeast at 5 mph. Beginning at 2 p.m. the wind should be out of the southeast at 8 mph.

Variable winds make it very difficult for firefighters to safely and effectively fight a fire.


(Originally published at 7:56 p.m. PDT September 5, 2019)

map Red Bank Fire
Map showing the location of the Red Bank Fire 20 miles west of Red Bluff, California at 2:36 p.m. PDT Sept. 5, 2019.

The Red Bank Fire spread quickly after it was reported Thursday afternoon 20 miles west of Red Bluff, California. (see map above) Another fire seven miles to the west was reported by aircraft working the fire. Both fires are east of the Mendocino National Forest and mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Air Attack reported at about 7:45 p.m local time Thursday that the fire had spread 7 miles to the northwest from the fire’s location shown on the map above at 2:36 p.m.

The fire has approached structures in some places but due to the fire behavior, not as many aerial resources as they would like, and smoke limiting the visibility of aircraft, firefighters in some cases had to withdraw.

Red Bank Fire
The Red Bank Fire as seen from the Nevada Seismo Lab Eagles Nest camera at 7:05 p.m. PDT September 5, 2019.

The Incident Commander has placed orders for a large number of ground and air resources, including eight air tankers for Friday.

Friday afternoon the Cannon Road weather station recorded a high temperature of 93 degrees, 17 percent relative humidity, and 10 to 13 mph winds out of the southeast gusting at 18 to 25 mph.

The weather forecast for the fire area on Friday calls for 88 degrees and 23 percent RH. The wind direction will be variable but will be 6  to 8 mph out of the southeast after 2 p.m.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

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