Fires in Northern California
Fires have yet to relinquish their grip on northern California forests. The Fort Complex Fire began with a lightning strike on August 5 and now a month later over 23,000 acres have been affected and the fire is 30% contained. Throughout the week the weather will be warming and drying the fuels, and winds are expected to increase on Wednesday. This may cause an increase in tree torching and fire behavior. In order to prepare for the expected increase in fire activity, firefighters will be improving and mopping up along completed portions of the fireline. Contingency lines continue to be built and improved on the west side of the Goff Fire to provide secondary firelines if fire behavior or weather changes.
The Bagley Fire which began on August 18th with a lightning strike has burned over 44,000 acres and is 55% contained. Firefighters were able to hold the fire in all divisions with fire close to the containment line. There is hope that the fire will be completely contained by September 15, 2012, however, growth potential and terrain for this fire are both considered extreme.
The Chips Fire began on July 29th but unlike the first two fires, the cause of this fire is still under investigation. So far, the Chips Fire has affected over 74,000 acres. It is currently 100% contained. Firefighters continue to mop-up along the eastern edge of the fire to extinguish any remaining pockets of heat within 300 feet of the line. Unburned vegetation within the fire perimeter continues to burn and has become active under the warm and dry weather pattern. However, the community itself has been secured and residents have returned.
The North Pass Fire began on August 18th with a lightning strike. The fire has affected almost 42,000 acres and is 62% contained. Full containment is expected by September 10th. At the highest point, the effort to fight the North Pass fires included over 2,000 personnel. Currently 1,372 people are still on the incident. As full containment draws closer, resources are being released.
This natural-color satellite image shows smoke streaming from the wildifires. It was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on August 30, 2012. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner from information found on the inciweb.org site.