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AUGUST 16, 2015


"Fire Policy & Politics"
with Ray Haupt, USFS Dist. Ranger ret. / County Supervisor

HOUR 2   

Why should you care about this topic if you don't live on the west coast or you live in a city that isn't impacted by the fires burning on our public lands??
  • ALL AMERICANS bear the cost for these catastrophic fires in increased taxes!!!
  • ALL AMERICANS are losing the national treasure that is our public land!!!!
  • ALL AMERICANS will bear the increased cost for wood products!!!
  • ALL AMERICANS are wasting valuable renewable resources!!!
  • Out here in the west we are sick and tired of breathing green ecology!!!
About our guest:



•BS Natural Resources Management, Forestry concentration, Cal Poly San Louis Obispo, CA 1978
•Forest Engineering Institute, Advanced Forest Engineering/Economics, HumboldtState University, Certification 1980
•Plethora of Agency, University and local workshops spanning 40 years.

Professional Career
•33 years of experience USFS, 1976-2010
•Work includes assignments on the National Forests of Washington, California and Florida.
•Working Forester for 22 years holding certifications for Contracting Officer’s Representative, Sale Administrator, Forest Service Representative and Contracting Officer.
•R-5 certified Logging Engineering and Transportation Planner.
•Working Fuels manager throughout career holding certifications for preparation and approval of moderate complexity fuels prescriptions. Type 2 burn boss qualified.
•Extensive participation in Fire Operations for 33 years. Logistics Chief and Division Supervisor Type 2 Qualified. Served on a Type 2 team for 7 years and participated in many large fire responses. ICT 3 qualified.
•Northern California District Ranger Representative on R-5 Line Officer Team for 5 years. Certified for highest level, Expert Complexity of fire management and Type 1 Teams. Certified Line Officer for Fire Response /Trainer/Mentor/Certifying Officer.
•USFS Line Officer for 14 years serving in Regions 8 and 5. Retired as District Ranger, Klamath NF 2010.

Notable work USFS related Recognitions
•Acknowledged through agency awards 20+ times for leadership and management of resource programs and personnel.
•Selected to lead a WO pilot program combining Logging Engineering and Transportation Planning on the Plumas NF, 1985-92.
•Received an R-5 award for cost option economic analysis computer planning 1986 and wrote the R-5 handbook on such.
•Received the Chief’s Ecosystem Management Award Florida NF’s for ESA listed species recovery using intensive Forest and Fuels Management and local economic recovery.
•Served on the development team who established the R-8 Prescribed Fire Management Academy 1993-94.
•Managed and participated in 1,000,000+ acres of prescribed fire including 4 of the 6 Wilderness Prescribed Fires nationally.
•Wrote R-5 policies for Managed Natural Fire, Appropriate Management Response and Wilderness Delegations for use of mechanized equipment in non-emergency situations.
•Lead the team who developed and wrote the R-5 policy known as Project Activity Level (PAL), the replacement of the Sale Activity Level (SAL) system for fire risk management in industrial forest operations, 2002.
•R-5 Regional Forrester Investigative Team Leader for the Angora Fire, Tahoe NF.
•Selected for the R-5 Ecosystem Management Award in 2009 and nominated for the Chiefs Award. Eddy Project EIS (33,000 acres), applications of fire behavior science and vegetation management design for protection of Late Successional Reserve landscapes in Fire Dominated Ecosystems of the Northwest Forest Plan Northern Spotted Owl Habitats.
•Numerous Awards and a national leader in Fire behavior, large Fire Management and Fire behavior modification using Forest Management vegetation manipulation techniques.
•2 US Congressional Awards for Forest Management, significantly contributing to Rural EconomicStability (Quincy CA, Blountstown FL and Life time achievement).

Post USFS Retirement
•Instructor of Forest Hydrology, Forest Mensuration, Dendrology and Forest Ecology at College of the Siskiyous, Weed CA.
•Forest Consultant, California Registered Professional Forester #2938.
•The Research Lead Coordinator involving UC Berkley, UC Merced UC Santa Barbara, USFS and Siskiyou County for Evapotranspiration Water Yield and Hydrologic Function study in Fire Adapted Forested Ecosystems.
•Serving as Science Chair on the Board of Directors for the Wildfire Institute, Ft. Jones CA.
•Coauthor of many Forestry related federal legislative bills for public lands management.

Current Elected Official
•Siskiyou County Supervisor, District 5

Committee Assignments
•County Chair , SFAC (Sustainable Forest Action Committee)
•Designee, In Home Supportive Services Public Authority
•Alternate Rep., NACO/Sierra-Sacramento LEMSA
•Delegate, Five County Coho Plan
•Delegate, Siskiyou County Resource Advisory Council
•Alternate, Siskiyou County Regional Solid Waste Joint Powers Authority
•Co-delegate, Behavioral Health Services Advisory Board
•Alternate, North Coast Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, Policy Board
•Alternate, North Coast Integrated Water Management Plan, Policy Review Committee
•Designee, Criminal Justice Department Head Committee
•County Representative, Fire Chief’s Steering Committee
•Director, Siskiyou County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Siskiyou County Air Pollution Control District, Siskiyou Power Authority, Airport Land Use Commission, County Service Area 3, County Service Area 4, County Service Area 5 


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Basic topic outline for today's show:
Fire History
•Fire role and man's use
•Disturbance and Fire ecology of vegetation systems, water supply/hydrology dysfunction and Biomass accumulation
•Fire behavior and local fire issues/forest management/wildlife management; ESA/litigation on public and private lands-what have we lost in suppression effectiveness in this regulatory soup?
•National and local Fire response structure
•The Incident Command System (ICS) and interagency response
•Differences in Jurisdictions of Fire Agencies; Initial Attack and Large Fire transitions
•Is there a public role? Current Law and Community Protection Planning; Fire Safe Councils and Community Liaisons
•Fire Teams/Firefighting capability/
•Fire response technology and escalating costs

Ray also wears another hat to influence national fire policy and legislation on public lands and associated rural communities. He is the science chair on the Board of Directors for the Wildfire Institute. They work to eliminate the catastrophic wildfire in CA/OR/WA and to return forest management for the reduction of large fire effects.

1. Have the decades of fire suppression on forest lands contributed to a greater risk of catastrophic wildfire? If so, how?

The simple answer is yes but we got to this point by more than just putting out fires. My answer must also include a scientific understanding of what a “Catastrophic Wildfire” is. Please keep in mind this papers response is primarily in reference to public lands within the western Klamath Mountains though some similarities are worth application in the Sierra Nevada and southwest Oregon outside the coastal ranges.

•In ecological terms a Catastrophic Wildfire is a fire that is uncharacteristic in nature and is not normally seen within the natural range of variability, an anomaly of effect or in frequency. In other words these fires maybe something produced by human or changed natural circumstances that are outside what is normal. Historically fires in our area consisted of high severity fires of 20-25% and disturbances are recovered for the most part in 20 years or less leaving most soils unaltered in function. High severity is often observed on those landscape locations associated with certain aspects and elevations with irregular distribution. The natural maintenance fires are known as secondary disturbances in ecology with a rapid return to similar pre-disturbance forest conditions (20 years or less). This is the forest maintenance disturbance that good forestry and logging practices mimics or replicates. Severe fire effects in most recent fires are measured at 50-80% with altered soil function associated with recovery timeframes spanning multiple centuries. In Ecology this is known as a primary disturbance most often associated with volcanic events where the basic components of the biological life sustaining components have been destroyed. High severity fire effects fit here for us locally.

•Forest densities began to rise locally following the Native American and settler cessation of range burning in the 1930’s. In 1934 the US Forest Service forced an end to thousands of years of historic landscape burning with a letter demanding an end to this vegetation management practice. This locally began the suppression era on the Klamath NF as well.

•100 years of fire suppression has increased the density of forests and added to the multilayered forests we see on our landscapes today. In the presence of natural fire these stand densities and fuels are naturally kept in check and the mosaic it produces on the landscape helps to moderate fire severity. If fire is removed from our forests it must be replaced by active forest management at a level equal to the natural disturbance levels and paced to be at the rate of growth to maintain stasis. When the biomass accumulation is out of balance by fire suppression and curtailment of forest management we predestine the forest to higher fire severity.

•Man has altered the landscape in other ways. Prior to the development period timber extraction; forests naturally had a higher abundance of old trees across landscapes, were clumpy in nature, contained far less trees per acre, were dominated by tree species resistant to fire effect and were devoid of smaller trees under and within the forested clumps. The regeneration of young trees was historically confined to openings (about 25% of the area) between the clumps giving the landscape both vertical and horizontal fuels separation. Duncan Dunning’s work in the 1930’s documented this condition and was recently published in an update by Eric Knapp. Historic forest management practices and regulation have leveled out the forest in one homogeneous age class and increased younger density distribution predestines our forests to large Catastrophic Fire growth seen today. This is why older firefighters like me will say the fires of my youth were not the fires I fought in the twilight of my career.

•This unnaturally high density forest condition has also been exasperated by multiple law/policy and climate collisions beginning in the 1970’s.

•The Endangered Species Act attempts to hold nature static for those species dependent on dense forest canopy (listed fish and owls) at the prevention of naturally occurring ecological function. This regulation induced a condition at a landscape level that cannot be sustained as unnaturally high accumulations of biomass succumb to fire through a natural process known in physics as an energy release and a rapid uncontrolled combustion of stored energy. Our systems are driven and maintained by frequent disturbances of low/moderate severity fire at 15-20 year intervals matching the decay and decadence life cycles of the local brush species and small tree fuel development. Without the historic forest gaps to moderate fire behavior, the current condition encourages uncharacteristic active stand replacing crown fires.

•In the late 1960’s, the western US came out of a wet climate cycle. Studies from UC Berkley Climatologists document California as having 800 year climate cycles documented by Paleo-climatology research techniques. The cycle consists of 700 years of drought followed by 100 years of wetter conditions. The wet cycle naturally grew higher densities of trees on our landscapes with periodic 3-4 year droughts. The 700 year cycles were dominated by 30-50 year drought periods. This temporarily higher than normal forest density, since 1970 was increased by forest management practices, younger stand ages replaced historic age distributions and grow at higher than normal densities, fire suppressions effect encouraging true fir fuel ladders across the landscape, constant litigation from environmental groups that prevent the thinning of these human caused stand conditions and the regulatory stance of holding everything constant is the perfect storm for continued catastrophic wildfire uncharacteristic in fire effect across large landscapes locally.

2. With that in mind, how does fire play a role in forest health?

•Fire plays a critical role in local forest ecosystems but it isn’t a one size fits all scenario. Fire ecology is as complex as are most natural processes and driven by aspect, elevation, soils, moisture, vegetation type, topography, elevation and weather. Likewise our systems are uniquely different than just a few miles to our north in Oregon starting about Grants Pass and in some ways different than the landscapes of the Sierra Nevada to our south. Even in Siskiyou County, Fire in the forests of McDoel driven by wind is very different than Happy Camp fires where the driving force is ground fuels and topography. Some areas naturally experience severe catastrophic fire with high frequency while most of the landscape locally does not.

•In our true fir stands at higher elevations fire is largely a stand replacing mechanism to start a portion of a watershed over. Stands in these areas are more even aged and as such begin to regenerate naturally in groups. These groups’ burn and regenerate naturally once the decline in health begins but fire reentry cycles are very long. Often 80-100 years and match or drive the regeneration process.

•Fire is an important recycler of nutrients critical for plant growth and in meeting the biological requirements for wildlife species stored in the biomass of forest biota understories. Releases of nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus are critical for sustained growth of the higher canopy layers and ash deposition downwind to other systems that do not experience fire. Consumption of fuel ladders in the mid canopy work to maintain the health of the upper layers of forest as insect levels are kept in check, stress for nutrients and water is reduced on dominant trees and general overall health is increased as fire performs natures weeding. The understory consumption also plays a critical role in interruption of some tree disease cycles and the biomass reduction increase ground water recharge rates and snow retention directly connected to our local stream flow function. All of the above can be replicated in controlled situations using responsible forest management practices.

3. What specific kinds of fuels treatment would alleviate the issue of overcrowded forests?

•In the general forest zone, thinning from below retaining the most dominate trees in the overstory coupled with group selection to replicate the fire moderating gaps lost in the current forest composition and provide the disturbance opportunity for tree regeneration. Forest Gaps are also critical in providing the ecologically rich hardwood component essential for dependent wildlife species. Thinning intensity must be intense enough to allow canopy gaps to break fuels and vent the heat of any fire start. Focus must be placed on retention of tree species specific to the historic distribution and must be variable in density for age class, slope position, aspect and elevation. After mechanical implementation prescribed fire in low intensities can effectively be used as a maintenance activity between logging entries in pine and mixed conifer types. Wide scale applications of these treatments would repair and restore fire resilience in our watersheds.

•Near rural communities is another story. Application of Cal Fire guidelines near homes is a good start but I do not believe goes far enough from the structure to provide adequate protection in our localized topography and fuels conditions. How far, far enough to reduce radiant heat of fuels adjacent to the structure and to dramatically alter fire behavior for safe firefighter engagement; a site specific question of high variability left to expert analysis and not simple summarized statements.

4. This is a somewhat multi-layered hypothetical, but I think it is important to consider, given the proposals for renewed treatment activities in our forests: If fuel treatment was allowed to restore forests to their natural state, and fire was allowed a more natural role in the forests, is there a point that fuel treatment activities would no longer be necessary?

Like the first question, the simple answer is no. To have a productive healthy forest is to assume it will continue to grow and so will the fuels without some form of maintenance.

•The maintenance must include applications of prescribed fire and mechanical treatment of fuels and commercial harvest of merchantable trees. I take you back to the failed science of the ESA; you cannot hold nature static these systems are dynamic by design as are all biological components of our world.

•How much is necessary? In the beginning it’s a tall order and a task not currently allowed by the laws designed by 1960’s science and the politics of the 1970-80’s. If one could truly restore ecological function the entry would mimic the fire interval of every 20 years or so to keep up with the vegetative ingrowth. The interval is more frequent on highly productive soils and less on poor thin sites so this is an average.

•In summary, you cannot prevent a natural process like fire and then not replace that disturbance with a suitable surrogate without producing significant ecological dysfunction.

5. What obstacles exist to getting in the forests and cleaning up fuels?

•Human perception and politics are likely the biggest issues our society faces.The legal barriers for resolve are found in antiquated law and policy that must be revised with current science to restore our forest health. Political special interests often derail rational policy discussions due to historic battle lines and an ignorant human perception of what is good or bad and the political pandering associated with those emotionally charged arguments. Societal demands especially in the west driven by a “not in my backyard” attitude continues to drive the politics of static management putting our forests in peril that are antagonistic of ecological processes.

•Before discussing the laws that follow, one should preface the discussion. To examine legal issues rationally one must first determine; are those laws as enacted producing the intended effect with the most recent fact based scientific information, do they reflect the will of our current society and are they now necessary given advancements in technology since enactment. In Natural Resource work, science changes rapidly and legal revisions by our legislatures move along at glacial speed. The current laws used for the management of public lands were largely enacted between 1950 and 1980 when most current forest sciences were in their infancy and in an era where any change was seen as detrimental to the natural world and that all those processes could be analyzed and managed using mathematical analysis. Science, technology and societal demands have changes dramatically over the course of the ensuing 60 years but the laws governing man’s activities remain largely unchanged.

•ESA (Endangered Species Act) – the law does not allow man to replace natural process in a controlled manner as all man’s activity is deemed a negative effect to the listed species, including short term effect for long term substantial benefitting actions. Balance is needed to effectively manage ecosystems in a functioning condition not driven by one species placed above the proper functioning forest at the expense of other species on that landscape. This human intervention produces great ecosystem dysfunction with environmental effects from natural process like fire well above historic norms. The ESA law was written when the body of science known today as ecology was in its infancy and because it was not included at the time of enactment the law is in scientific conflict with current science. The law also limits timing of projects and often circumvents the feasible implementation of those projects that are needed like prescribed fire during time periods best suited for our ecosystems. This is perpetuated by a myth that avoidance of presence during those time periods limits the effect to a listed species and is therefore a good decision. The law, administered in this manner perpetuates and mandates the static management strategies treating the specie as if it has not persisted in the presence of similar historic disturbances. Again, the evaluation of a proposed management decision must include a balance of what is within nature’s historic levels of disturbance and that which is outside that range of natural variability as the true measure of effect on a species and for that ecosystem. The current law encourages the development of “artificial forests” that are unsustainable and much less resilient against natural disturbances like fire.

•EAJA (Equal Access to Justice Act)-this law encourages litigation of policies and projects proposed by any federal agency. Originally enacted in the 1980’s to address Small Business redresses against a well-funded government with a Congressional sunset date. It was greatly expanded and reauthorized through executive order to be what it is today. The current law allows one to sue and regardless of outcome the litigant is often reimbursed for their legal fees. A very large industry developed around suing federal agencies responsible for analyzing projects under current NEPA laws. The law is where the phrase “sue and settle” originates. This is government wide and not just confined to the land management agencies and in my opinion provides a direct monetary incentive to industries that effectively disrupt cost effective implementation of government services and programs.

•Clean Air Act- regulates when and how much prescribed fire is allowed in the regulation of smoke emissions. Again the word here is balance. This law though well intentioned does not allow the thought processes of a little smoke now in a time period with less impact and lower emissions as compared with wildfire emissions for extended periods that diminish human safety.

6. Looking at the current state of our forests, what statement would you make about how we move forward?

•Get involved, the smoke has cleared but the recovery work is just now beginning. Some special interests will do their best to prevent salvage and reforestation work in the coming months using our laws and fears against this work. You will hear phrases like, the salvage will create hazardous fuels, will kill fish, will destroy our wildlife habitats, and after all fires are a natural process. In reality the habitats as affected by the fire are a foregone conclusion, no action we may do will have near that effect. Have you visited a collapsed forest after a fire and observed how much large fuel accumulates in the volatile brush growing within it? I have studied it in great scientific detail and I worry more now in the coming fire that will happen in the next 20 years with the associated effect of sterilized destroyed soils and the conversion of forested ecosystems to brush and grass. What do you want next to your home a reforested landscape or one full of fuel that no firefighter can suppress? Participate in the agency plans and decisions this winter; don’t let someone else determine what is best for your local community and your personal needs through silence.

•The disengaged public must be involved in these issues. All of us must do our part on our private land to abate fires risk and get involved in developing projects on the public lands that affect your communities. Your fire safe councils are a good start and can steer you to authorities on these subjects to answer your questions. This must be done far in advance of a given fire or fire season. If you live in Siskiyou County public lands affect your lifestyle and personal prosperity directly and indirectly every day.

•Current laws must be revised to allow for the work necessary for forest restoration work to occur on our forests or those species that depend on them including us will continue to live in peril from fire and other natural disturbances.

•In Siskiyou we face a climate shift toward a drier historic condition after coming out of a recent 100 years of wet conditions. This increase in forest growing productivity coupled with fire suppression has predestined our forests to a higher level of catastrophic wildfire effect and large scale ecological dysfunction. Unless we restore our forests to historic levels of density through active management to be resilient to severe fire effect using strategies that are greater to the vegetative growth; we will continue to destroy our water supplies and convert our valuable forested landscapes to brush and grasslands. As humans we must understand; no decision and no management while circumventing natural processes has serious unsustainable consequences. Contrary to the current popular mantra; the fastest way to sequester carbon emitting gasses is to manage forests that prevent them from severe burning events, fire suppression cannot stop all fires but management of forests can shorten the duration and destruction for them while reducing the threat to our communities and active Forest Management sustains forest growth, sustains forest resilience and sustains local economies. We have far more trees in the US today than 100 years ago, the public’s demand for wood products has continued to increase and Forest products are renewable. These are the facts but somehow we humans are arrogant enough to believe that if we don’t manage our forests the demand will diminish. In reality our population is willing to destroy forests in countries with lesser laws while feeling good locally about stopping and protecting or forests locally. This is globally irresponsible, produces much larger carbon emissions and continues to put the rural western states in environmental and economic peril.

•Education must be a large part of our future. The public must engage in fact based discussions and know that political hyperbole is often short on scientific fact. All sides of these issues use a largely uneducated public to push highly profitable personal agendas, campaign contributions/votes and self-aggrandizement. Make a personal investment to increase your awareness by taking a class in resource science, bounce your ideas off a resource professional or attend local educational seminars.
Here is a good fire map of the current fires in CA

We're not too bad on the ERC's below. Not yet above average and not near last year's levels. That's good news. As a reminder September 15 is the most significant downward trend for fire behavior as the solar angle changes enough to lessen the preheating of fuels and we begin to get shadowing on our slopes. Of course we need rain and that isn't historically in the mix until October 15 with any certainty.
After the chart is a summary of this year's fire stats. I will be with Erin Ryan on the radio for the two hours this Sunday talking about fire, fire ecology/behavior and fire agencies. Who knows what else the chat line will also want me to address.
Fire Activity Since July 22, 2015:

State Fires:                            779

State Acres:**                  128,279

Federal Fires:                         446

Federal Acres:                 122,243


Current Large Fire Status:

State Fires:                                4

Federal Fires:                           11

Structures Threatened:        2,600

Structures Damaged:                 8

Structures Destroyed:             121

Firefighter Injuries:                   41

Firefighter Deaths:               1 Fed


Current Large Fire Resources:

Firefighters:                       11,521

Engines:                                935

Crews:                                   231

Dozers:                                  167

Helicopters:                             59


Additional Resources:

Assisting State(s): 3 (AZ, NM, NV)


Northern Region

State Incidents


Rocky (Lake)

·         Lower Lake

·         Start: 07/29/2015 Cause: Unknown

·         69,438 Acres - 95% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: 08/15/2015

·         Fuels: Chaparral, Timber, Brush

·         Costs to Date: $45,800,000

·         Structures Threatened: 0

·         Structures Destroyed: 96

·         Structures Damaged: 8

Evacuations: All areas have been repopulated and all evacuations and road closures have been lifted.


Major Concerns: Area closures due to the start of hunting season.


Humboldt Complex (Humboldt)

·         Wildland areas near Alderpoint, Bridgeville, Blocksburg, and Zenia

·         Start:  07/30/2015 Cause: Lightning

·         4,799 Acres - 65% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: 08/27/2015

·         Fuels: Timber

·         Costs to Date: $24,435,737

·         Structures Threatened: 0

·         Structures Destroyed: 7

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: None

Major Concerns: Threat to Mount Lassic Wilderness, private and commercial timberland, habitat for threatened and endangered salmonid species, terrestrial wildlife such as the northern spotted owl, and water supplies for local residents. Threat to water quality and scenic values of the Eel River which is designated as a Wild and Scenic river.


Jerusalem (Lake)

·         Jerusalem Valley area, northeast of Middletown

·         Start: 08/09/2015  Cause: Unknown

·         23,500 Acres – 33% Contained

·         Fuels: Chaparral, Grass

·         Estimated Containment: 08/17/2015

·         Cost to Date: $6,700,000

·         Structures Threatened: 50

·         Structures Destroyed: 0

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: A mandatory evacuation has been issued for the Jerusalem Valley area east of Spruce Grove. Road closures: Jerusalem Valley Road at Spruce Grove Road, Morgan Valley Road from Reiff Road southeast to Napa County Line, Reiff Road from Morgan Valley Road east to Yolo County Line, and Berryessa Knoxville Road closed from Lake Berryessa north. Area closures in effect due to the start of hunting season.


Major Concerns: Power lines, watershed, residences and archaeological sites and villages with Native American tribal significance are threatened.



Northern Region

Federal Incidents


Fork Complex (Trinity)


·         Hayfork

·         Start:  07/30/2015  Cause: Unknown

·         28,736 Acres - 26% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: Unknown

·         Fuels: Timber, Chaparral, Slash

·         Costs to Date: $20,238,500

·         Structures Threatened: 1,230

·         Structures Destroyed: 12

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: Mandatory evacuations for Tule Creek area, Deer Lick Springs Campground, Shiell Ranch, 13 Dips Road area, Barker Creek Road, Mill Gulch (Highway 3 to Hayfork), Kingsbury Gulch Road (Hayfork Area), residences in the area of Morgan Hill Road from Pine Street to Kingsbury Gulch Road. Advisory evacuations for Wildwood. Voluntary evacuations for Farmer Ranch Road and Trinity Pine. The Red Cross has established an evacuation center at the Solid Rock Christian Church at the intersection of State Route 3 and Tule Creek Road in Hayfork. Road Closures: State Route 335 at Middleton Gulch and Betty Gulch, Forest Road 31N02 at Windy Gap, County Road 1 at Stones Creek and Browns Creek,13 Dips Road, State Route 36 from Forest Glen to Mad River, Wildwood Road from Gemmill Gulch picnic area to East Fork Road, Rattlesnake Road from Post Mountain Road to Highway 3, State Route 3 south of the Hayfork Fairgrounds to Highway 36, and all roads associated with the residences listed above.


Major Concerns: Public safety communication/repeater infrastructure, Verizon communication infrastructure, PG&E/Trinity Co. Public Utility District power transmission lines, PG&E major gas line, and several sole logistical transportation routes servicing the fire area and communities within are threatened. Multiple watersheds and commercial timber/livestock, recreational values, cultural heritage sites, wildlife, environmentally sensitive areas, the Chanchelulla Wilderness, Coho salmon habitat, and the Natural Bridge Special Interest Area (prehistoric cultural site) are threatened. The Shasta Trinity National Forest has implemented a forest closure.


Mad River Complex (Trinity)


·         Ruth Lake and Mad River Communities

·         Start:  07/30/2015  Cause: Lightning

·         21,265 Acres - 45% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: 08/31/2015

·         Fuels: Timber, Grass, Chaparral

·         Costs to Date: $14,900,000

·         Structures Threatened: 340

·         Structures Destroyed: 4

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: Mandatory for Forest Glen. Voluntary evacuations for the communities around Ruth Lake, Mad River, and the Lassic area. A precautionary evacuation advisory has been issued for the Swayback Ridge area. Road closures are in effect for Highway 36 from Lower Mad River (County Road 501) east to Lower Rattlesnake Road, Van Duzen Road from Highway 36 to Ruth-Zenia Road (County Road 502) and lower Mad River Road from State Highway 36 to AA Ranch is open to residents only.


Major Concerns:   Communities of Ruth Lake, Mad River, and structures in the Forest Glen, Van Duzen, and Lassic areas. The Shasta Trinity National Forest has closed portions of the forest within the Mad River Complex. Watershed, Ruth Lake reservoir, Meadow Dam, the power generating facility, transmission lines, gas lines, cell towers, microwave towers, repeaters, and the road systems are threatened.  Species threatened include Lassic Lupine, northern spotted owl, trout and salmon streams, and various other wildlife habitats. Public/private campgrounds and private camps remain threatened.


River Complex (Trinity)


·         New River Drainage near Dailey Ranch, Hoboken, Denny

·         Start: 07/30/2015  Cause: Lightning

·         28,592 Acres - 12% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: 10/01/2015

·         Fuels: Timber, Grass, Chaparral

·         Costs to Date: $8,100,000

·         Structures Threatened: 100

·         Structures Destroyed: 0

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: Evacuations remain in place for communities in the New River drainage north of Trinity Village. Mandatory evacuations for Dailey Ranch, Bell Flat, Hoboken, and Denny (Some residents have chosen to shelter in place). Road closures are in effect for Denny Road and 7N26, Forest Road No. 7N04, Forest Road No. 7N10 from the intersection of Forest Road No. 7N04 to the intersection of Forest Road No. 7N31, Forest Road No. 7N31, and Forest Road No. 7N30.  The Shasta Trinity Forest has implemented a forest closure within the River Complex.


Major Concerns: With strong south to southeast winds, the Dailey Ranch, Miller Ranch, and the Huddleston Ranch will continue to be threatened. Cultural landscape and heritage sites within the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation are threatened.


South Complex (Trinity)


·         Hyampom, south of Highway 299

·         Start:  08/01/2015  Cause:  Unknown

·         16,348 Acres - 18% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: Unknown

·         Fuels: Timber, Brush

·         Costs to Date: $8,968,900

·         Structures Threatened: 381

·         Structures Destroyed: 0

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: Multiple structures are immediately threatened in the Hyampom, Springer, Skunk Ranch, end of Kerlin Creek Rd, Castle Rock area, Burnt Ranch and Coral Bottom communities. Evacuations continue and additional areas could be threatened based on changing conditions.


Major Concerns: A major electric transmission line passes through the projected fire area. Also threatened are the Trinity River Scenic and Wild corridor, New York Bar (along Highway 299), and endangered salmon habitat.


Dodge (Lassen)


·         17 miles northeast of Ravendale

·         Start:  08/03/2015  Cause: Human

·         10,570 Acres - 80% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: 08/15/2015

·         Fuels: Brush, Timber, Grass

·         Costs to Date: $3,100,000

·         Structures Threatened: 2

·         Structures Destroyed: 0

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: None


Major Concerns: None


Gasquet Complex (Del Norte)


·         Gasquet, 19 miles northeast of Crescent City

·         Start:  08/03/2015  Cause:  Lightning

·         2,693 Acres - 25% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: 10/15/2015

·         Fuels: Timber, Brush, Grass

·         Costs to Date: $5,275,000

·         Structures Threatened: 15

·         Structures Destroyed: 0

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: None


Major Concerns: Threats to Bear Basin Lookout, cultural resources, communication sites for the Forest Service, and the California Highway Patrol, local communities, microwave links and private inholdings within the Six Rivers National Forest.  The fire is encroaching on areas of cultural significance to local Native American tribes.


Route Complex (Humboldt)


·         Mad River, Dinsmore, Hyampom

·         Start:  07/30/2015  Cause:  Lightning

·         26,471 Acres - 20% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: 08/31/2015

·         Fuels: Timber, Grass, Chaparral

·         Costs to Date: $7,000,000

·         Structures Threatened: 475

·         Structures Destroyed: 2

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: None


Major Concerns: There is a threat to the State Responsibility Area and 50 structures in the area of Owl Creek and Pilot Rock Ridge including the communities of Mad River, Van Duzen, Dinsmore, and Southern Trinity High School. Threat to endangered species habitat including the northern spotted owl, a U.S. Forest Service repeater site on 8 Mile Ridge, historical cabins, known prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, private timber industry land, power distribution lines, cell tower, and microwave systems remain threatened.


Nickowitz (Del Norte)


·         Nickowitz Peak

·         Start:  08/01/2015  Cause:  Unknown

·         1,270 Acres - 40% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: 08/25/2015

·         Fuels: Timber, Chaparral, Grass

·         Costs to Date: $1,500,000

·         Structures Threatened: 0

·         Structures Destroyed: 0

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: None


Major Concerns:  The fire is burning in Siskiyou wilderness with the potential for damage to cultural resources in the area.



Southern Region

State Incidents


Anza (Riverside)


·         Highway 74 and Highway 371, 5 miles from Anza

·         Start: 08/10/2015  Cause: Human

·         450 Acres - 80% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: 08/14/2015

·         Fuels: Brush

·         Costs to Date: 2,500,000

·         Structures Threatened: 0

·         Structures Destroyed: 0

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: None


Major Concerns: None


Southern Region

Federal Incidents


Cabin (Tulare)


·         Eight miles northeast of Camp Nelson in the Golden Trout Wilderness

·         Start:  07/19/2015  Cause: Lightning

·         6,417 Acres - 96% Contained (Incident is reporting 96% of confinement actions were completed.)

·         Estimated Containment: 08/20/2015

·         Fuels: Timber

·         Costs to Date: $6,800,000

·         Structures Threatened: 7

·         Structures Destroyed: 0

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: None


Major Concerns: Resources at risk include: Peck's Cabin, Lion Meadow Camp, cultural resources, critical habitat for the Little Kern golden trout, and habitat for the mountain yellow-legged frog. A portion of the Golden Trout Wilderness and trails within the fire area are closed. Private cabins and outbuildings located to the northwest and southwest of the fire remain at risk.


Rough (Fresno)


·         2.5 miles southwest of Spanish Mountain bordering the Monarch Wilderness

·         Start:  07/31/2015  Cause: Lightning

·         9,948 Acres - 0% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: 08/22/2015

·         Fuels: Chaparral, Grass, Timber

·         Costs to Date: $3,130,000

·         Structures Threatened: 0

·         Structures Destroyed: 0

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: None


Major Concerns: Potential closure of Highway 180 if the fire crosses the Kings River. This closure would close access to Kings River National Park. Threats to communication towers, U.S. Forest Service campgrounds, two Giant Sequoia groves, the Hume Lake US Forest Service Fire Station, the Hume Lake Recreation Area, and a private campground continue.


Shinn (San Bernardino)*


·         Shinn Road

·         Start:  08/11/2015  Cause: Unknown

·         11 Acres - 80% Contained

·         Estimated Containment: 08/17/2015

·         Fuels: Grass, Brush

·         Costs to Date: $100,000

·         Structures Threatened: 0

·         Structures Destroyed: 0

·         Structures Damaged: 0

Evacuations: None


Major Concerns: None