Interim Crescent City Fire and Rescue Chief Bill Gillespie says that while regional fires continue to strip state resources to a minimum, Del Norte County still has the personnel and equipment to watch over its residents.
Fort Dick Fire Chief Randy Crawford said Monday that no firefighters from his department are on wildfire strike teams, but he does have an engine in Klamath covering the CAL FIRE station there.
Gillespie said CCFR also has a water tender and two fire personnel at the Klamath station.
“Del Norte and Humboldt County’s ranger units are stripped of resources,” he said, noting that they have few engines for the entire county. “They’re relying heavily on local departments.”
CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Paul Savona said an engine from the Crescent City CAL FIRE station is currently employed on wildland fires, but local departments have filled in the gaps.
“We have the exact same level of response,” he said, noting that Fort Dick Fire and CCFR remain equipped. “Those guys are rock solid, and if we get a call, we dispatch them out.”
Gillespie said other firefighters from CCFR are employed with Pelican Bay State Prison and were working on fires in Shasta and Lake/Mendocino counties.
“From what I know now, there’s no clear end in sight as for when CAL FIRE resources will come back. With the biggest fire in California history ... and a couple new ones in Southern California, they are staying busy,” Gillespie said. “It’s definitely early for a fire season of this intensity, but even with all the resources we have out, we still have adequate resources at home and we’ll continue to handle fire and medical aid calls as they come in.”
With much attention now focused on the Mendocino Complex fires that recently neared 300,000 acres in size, it may be easy to forget that the Carr Fire that destroyed thousands of structures continues to burn.
According to a CAL Fire update Monday morning, an estimated containment date is still unknown as the Carr Fire’s total acreage has passed 200,000 acres. Meanwhile, a smaller fire has ignited east of the Carr Fire’s north edge. Called the Hirz Fire, the 4,400-acre blaze is burning near Shasta Lake. Eight residents near the fire have been ordered to evacuate, according to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest office. As of Monday, the Hirz Fire was considered 5 percent contained.
The Natchez Fire has reached over 13,000 acres but is said to be 52 percent contained, according to the Rogue River/ Siskiyou National Forest Service office.
“The fire is located just south of the Oregon/California border between Happy Camp, Calif. and Cave Junction, Ore.,” a USFS overview stated Monday. “The 814 personnel assigned to the incident are working to implement suppression actions that will most effectively and safely limit fire growth.”
The fire has prompted a level one evacuation warning for the community of Sunstar, and a community meeting was held Monday night.
Another fire, known as the Hat Fire, has burned 1,900 acres near Burney and is considered 62 percent contained.
For a full list of fires and updated information, go to http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents class="Apple-converted-space">