Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

A flare-up on the Natchez Fire left much of the Del Norte Coast in smoke and dusted with ash Tuesday morning. The nearly-contained fire jumped from 33,000 to more than 36,000 acres overnight, spreading quickly westward.

U.S. Forest Service Information Officer Donnie Davis said the flare-up brought the estimated containment levels of the fire down to 82 percent from 84 percent. He said the fire went past Raspberry Lake and was slowly moving west/southwest as of Wednesday.

“There are no assets other than trees to the west,” he said. “If it continues to the west, it will run into scars from last year’s (Young and Eclipse) fire scars, as well as the Gasquet Fire Complex scars from 2015.”

The Natchez Fire was started July 15 by lightning. The fire is located just south of the Oregon/California border, moving away from Happy Camp and Cave Junction.

NASA worldview satellite photos as of Tuesday showed smoke from Natchez Fire in California impacting the Del Norte Coast.

Other fires

The Delta Fire, which closed Interstate 5 several times south of the Siskiyou Shasta County lines, was considered 98 percent contained as of Tuesday. It also flared up early Tuesday, moving west toward Trinity Lake, sending smoke and ash into Trinity and Humboldt counties.

A map of the now 60,000-acre fire shows it shares an east-west perimeter with the now contained Hirz Fire and almost met the north perimeter of the extinguished Carr Fire.

North of the state line, the Klondike and Taylor Creek Fires appear to be merging.

The Klondike West fire is actively burning in the footprint of the 2002 Biscuit Fire and in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Portions of the fire are contained by previously burned areas including the Chetco Bar Fire of 2017, according to the Inciweb information system. “The Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires were split into zones on Saturday, Aug. 18. The fires are now referred to as Taylor Creek Fire, Klondike Fire East, and Klondike Fire West.”

A total of 583 personnel continue to fight the 156,895-acre fire, which is said to be 72 percent contained.

Local fires

In Crescent City, firefighters have responded to several calls for small fires in the last six days. On Sept 20 at about 10:20 p.m., local fire agencies responded to a fire off U.S. 101 south of Washington Boulevard that burned an area of about 40 by 40 feet in dense underbrush. Battalion Chief Joe Gregorio said the fire started in a homeless camp. He said there were a couple camps in the fire vicinity that were strewn with mattresses and debris.

Many fire engines from area departments were parked along U.S. 101 as Gregorio said it was the only way to access the area.

About 30 personnel from Crescent City, CAL FIRE and Pelican Bay Prison Fire Department responded.

Crescent City Fire and Rescue personnel and CAL FIRE also responded to a couple small fires in the area at the east end of 3rd Street Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Both were put out quickly and no estimation of the cause was available.