Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

State and Federal resources teamed up Sunday and Monday to make quick work of two lightning-started fires near Gasquet.

According to US Forest Service District Ranger Jeff Marzal, most of the strikes occurred in the northern area of his district, and were followed by rain showers.

Just after 9 a.m., a fire was reported in an area northeast of Gasquet, off the Gasquet Toll Road. Marzal said the fire was about a quarter-acre in size and was snuffed quickly.

A second, larger one, titled the 18 Fire, was reported about four to five miles northeast of Gasquet, near Elk Camp Ridge.

“It took a lot longer to get resources to that one,” Marzal said. “We had state and Forest Service choppers, hotshot firefighters, smokejumpers and local resources on it.”

Marzal said the eight-person California Smokejumping team came from Redding Sunday.

Crews worked the fire overnight, and were able to get a line around it by early Monday afternoon. Marzal said the fire was not considered extinguished by that time, but estimated it would be put out and mopped up by Tuesday.

Surrounding fires

According to a USFS release Monday, several other fires are being battled just outside Del Norte County.

“There are 13 confirmed new starts; six of the fires are located on the Oregon California border, with the largest being the Natchez Fire, which is approximately 6-10 acres in size,” said a report from the Wild Rivers Ranger District in Grants Pass and Cave Junction. “Additional resources on order to assist with overall fire response include additional crews, engine strike teams, dozers, middle leader fire management personnel and a short haul aircraft for emergency evacuation support.”

In the Gold Beach and Brookings area, three confirmed fire starts have been reported with no containment issues.

“The Bear Fire, located 2-3 miles northeast of Bear Camp, is approximately five acres in size and is lined, as are the other two fires,” a USFS release stated.

“The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest received multiple lightning strikes across the

forest yesterday. With additional strikes yesterday evening, it is estimated that agencies have responded to approximately 100 lightning-caused fires, with the Forest Service responding to 57 new starts,” according to the Medford USFS office.

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