More Lightning Wednesday Evening in Siskiyou County

YREKA, CA—In Siskiyou County, more lightning occurred on Wednesday, July 11, as about 118 more down strikes hit the forest. Luckily, some rainfall came with this lightning storm. Overall, about 55 fires were started by storms this week, with approximately 32 of the fires active as of Thursday morning. The other 23 fires have been either contained or controlled. Most of the fires are less than 10 acres in size; however, some fires are just now being looked at due to their extremely remote and rugged locations.

As of Thursday, July 12th, the Klamath National Forest formed the Elk Complex in the Happy Camp Ranger District that has a number of the lightning-caused fires close to private property, as well as many others scattered throughout the district. A Type II Incident Management Team, with Kent Swartzlander as Incident Commander, is taking over management of the Elk Complex starting at 6:00 pm tonight. Three of the known fires within that complex are causing some concern (the Elk Fire, about 10 acres; the King Creek #2, about 40 acres; and the Tom Martin, about 10 acres). The Tom Martin Fire is about one and a half-miles south of the small town of Hamburg along Highway 96. No structures are threatened at this time, and an air tanker is being used to help the firefighters on the ground.

The Oak Knoll Ranger District has five confirmed fires, with three of them controlled. Of the two active fires, the China Fire is one mile north of China Peak, and is using an air tanker to help firefighters tackle this blaze. It is currently about 10 acres in size. Smoke from this fire may be seen from the Yreka and Fort Jones area, as well as from along Highway 96 near the town of Klamath River.

The Scott River Ranger District has seven fires in total, with five of them staffed at this time. Two of the fires are within or near the eastern edge of the Marble Mountain Wilderness. The Back and Sky Fires are about 10 and 25 acres in size, respectively. Heavy fuels and extensive mop-up are the concerns for these fires.

As of the morning of Thursday, July 12th, about 16 fires have been reported on the State Responsibility Areas protected by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE); the largest is about 10 acres in size. All of these fires are contained.

The CAL FIRE information line is now available at (530) 842-2266. This number will have information on the fires managed by the Forest Service and CAL FIRE in the county, and will be updated as the situations change.


  • michelle

    thank you folks for the fire updates, wishing the guys there all the best.

  • Editor

    I haven’t received any new updates since this one. We just got home from Eureka and see there’s a new forest fire on the hill behind my home. We may be evacuated tomorrow, along with other Happy Campers.

  • Joe & Jan Stuart

    If their is a need for evacuation, our home and motorhome are available for anyone needing a place to stay. Also room for camp tents, etc.. Call 496-3544.
    We live 5 miles toward Happy Camp from Seiad Valley. Known as Savage Rapids.

  • Editor

    Fortunately there are no evacuations from Happy Camp yet, though some people were evacuated from homes 8 miles south of here. We consider them Happy Campers too, though they’re living in the forest. Thanks so much for your offer of lodging, Joe and Jan.

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