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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Quick Look: California Wildfires Today 8-25-12

News and Notes: On this day in history, August 25, 1934 – Bear Springs Fire On August 25, 1934, Shasta National Forest Supervisor John Everitt was killed on the Bear Springs Fire near Mt. Shasta when he was overrun by flames as he was scouting a fireline. Supervisor Everitt was the first fire fatality among the Forest Service California Region's permanent workforce. For more information, visit http://www.wlfalwaysremember.org/incident-lists/112-john-everitt.html 

 Weather:  URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE


WHAT: RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 10 PM PDT SUNDAY FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR NORTHEAST CALIFORNIA AND NORTHWEST NEVADA 
WHY: RED FLAG WARNING FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY.
WHEN: .FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING. A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM NEAR THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST WILL INCREASE WINDS THROUGH TUESDAY.
 GUSTY WINDS ARE EXPECTED EACH DAY THROUGH TUESDAY WITH THE STRONGEST WINDS SUNDAY AND AGAIN TUESDAY. 
VERY DRY AIR AND GUSTY WINDS WILL PRODUCE CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING ACROSS NORTHEAST CALIFORNIA AND NORTHWEST NEVADA AND POSSIBLY AGAIN TUESDAY. 
WHERE:  SURPRISE VALLEY CALIFORNIA - WESTERN LASSEN - EASTERN PLUMAS - EASTERN SIERRA - EASTERN NEVADA COUNTIES - EASTERN LASSEN COUNTY - NORTHERN WASHOE COUNTY - FIRE ZONE 271 - FIRE ZONE 278 - FIRE ZONE 458 NORTHERN WASHOE COUNTY. 
 * WINDS - SOUTHWEST 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 35 MPH. 
 * HUMIDITY - 5 TO 15 PERCENT. 
 * IMPACTS - THE COMBINATION OF GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY WILL CREATE CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS SUNDAY AND POSSIBLY AGAIN ON TUESDAY. 
A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR. CONTINUE TO CHECK WEATHER.GOV/RENO FOR UPDATES. A FIRE WEATHER WATCH MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE. CHECK WEATHER.GOV/RENO FOR UPDATES AND POSSIBLE RED FLAG WARNINGS.

OSCC - Southern California Ops
News and Notes: Light initial activity today
Light initial attack in the GACC, and no large fire activity

ONCC - Northern California Ops

Wildfire Perimeters, Location and Hot-spot Map

CA-SHU Christian Fire. 2 acres. 
The fire is burning near Bear Mtn., approximately 5 miles north of Redding. Air Attack and Tankers are committed.
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CA-SHF Bagley Fire. 12,000 acres. 7% contained.
 Active fire behavior on all Divisions was observed on 8/24. Burnout operations on the N flank are holding. USFS road closures remain in effect.
Notice: There will be a community meeting on Sunday August 26 at 6:00 p.m. at the Big Bend Community Club on 30284 Hot Springs Road in Big Bend, CA. Fire officials will be on hand to update the community on the status of the Bagley Fire.
 Smoke: Due to upper level winds coming out of the south - southwest, smoke from the Bagley Fire may continue to impact the areas around McCloud and Mt. Shasta City over the next several days. There is no danger to these areas from the fire itself.
Summary: The Bagley Fire continues to burn in a remote area of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest on both public and private land. The fire is located approximately 7 miles west of the community of Big Bend, CA. As the result of a successful burnout operation again last night, firefighters have achieved 10% containment of the fire. The fire is burning in heavy timber and brush fields on steep slopes. Due to the very steep terrain and a heavy concentration of very dry fuels, suppression efforts have been focused on the construction of indirect firelines. Firefighters are again planning to do a burn out operations from these indirect lines as opportunities arise. Firefighters will also use the cooler nighttime temperatures and higher humidity to their advantage in this operation as well. This tactic is implemented in order to reduce the amount of flammable material between the fires edge and control lines. At this time no structures are immediately threatened however the fire is placing high-value private timberlands and electrical power infrastructure at risk.
Road closures: All Shasta-Trinity National Forest recreation facilities within the Bagley Fire area are closed, including Deadlun and Madrone Campgrounds. Additionally, the PG&E operated Hawkin's Landing Campground will also be closed.
 Highway 299 East, Big Bend Road, and Forest Service 34N17 Road (commonly known as Fender's Ferry Road) will remain open. However, motorists are advised to drive with caution.
Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Saturday August 18th, 2012 approx. 10:07 AM
Location 7 miles west of Big Bend CA
Incident Commander Whitcome
Current Situation
Total Personnel 1,073
Size 13,702 acres
Percent Contained 10%
Estimated Containment Date Wednesday September 05th, 2012 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved -
Timber litter and understory, brush and hardwood stands intermixed. Fire area has conifer, brush, hardwood stands, logging slash, and pine plantations. High live to dead ratio in brush exists and conifer stands have a heavy loading of dead/down material.
Fire Behavior - active fire behavior on all Divisions. Steadily burning heavy timber and brush fuels with moderate rates of spread, isolated single tree & group torching spotting and roll-out.
Significant Events - Nighttime burnout operations completed to secure northest flank of fire. USFS road closures remain in effect.
Outlook Planned Actions - Burnout and hold. Continue indirect line scouting, construction and improvement in all divisions in preparation for burning. Check fire spread as necessary. Continue logistical support for remote fireline suppression operations and two spike camps.
Growth Potential - High
Terrain Difficulty - Extreme
Remarks:
Acres burned: US Forest Service = 8,302 Private lands: 5,400
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CA-PNF Chips Fire. 64,214 acres. 55% contained.
  (CA-SHF-002744) McGowan’s Type 1 team is mobilized to the Bagley Fire.
The fire exhibited resistance to control on 8/24. The largest spot fire is 100+ acres in Division G. Mandatory Evacuation of the communities of Canyon Dam, Big Meadows. Prattville has been lifted to advisement.
 Evacuations and Closures: No changes have occurred to evacuations at this time. The Plumas County Sheriff's Department continues to enforce Mandatory Evacuations for the communities of Canyon Dam and the Big Meadows area. A Voluntary Evacuation is in place for Rush Creek, and an Advisory is in effect for Prattville residents for the potential threat of the fire to the area.
 An evacuation Center continues to be available at the Chester Memorial Hall on Gay Street. For more information, please go to: http://www.countyofplumas.com/CivicAlerts.aspx AID=536
 Community Meetings: A community meeting will be held tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the Greenville Town Hall, 152 Green Meadows Lane # B, Greenville, CA 95947.Additional Fire Information: Call (530) 283-3593 and (530) 283-3288 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Fire Status: Firefighters worked through the night achieving a goal to burnout a 4 mile section of the eastern flank above Muggins Creek area. Efforts continue in preparing firing lines for another burn tonight that will connect containment lines with control lines around the eastern fire perimeter. Firefighters constructing and mopping up lines will be reinforced by aerial resources dropping retardant outside containment lines.
 The burnout operation utilized winds out of the northeast to push the fire into the interior of the burn area approximately 1000 feet. This burnout will achieve firefighting goals of reducing fuel loads in the area to limit the fire's intensity along the perimeter. Firefighters working around Muggins Creek will prepare firing lines today to connect the northern section of the burnout operation with the southern portion of the fire around Caribou. That burnout operation will be completed tonight if conditions stay favorable.
 Winds will gust up to 20 miles per hour in the burn area today as firefighter begin mop-up on containment lines in the east and continue mop-up in the north and west sections of the burn. Weather continues to be a factor in directing fire behavior with high temperatures and wind drying out ground fuels, and large conifers weakened by drought conditions. Winds are predicted to gust up to 30 miles per hour Sunday which prompted the decision to execute a larger burnout operation in the east. With the wind pushing fire to the edge of containment lines, several spots have been identified, including an approximately 100 acre slop-over in the Yellow Creek area. Containment lines have been constructed around all of the spots that were identified and crews continue to patrol containment lines looking or spots and strengthening control lines during mop-up.
 The western flank of the fire continues to be staffed by several hot shot crews who stay in the area, camping near the fire line. Crews working from north to south continue work into the Chips Creek drainage, mopping up 300 feet from the fire line where possible. Additional crews will work from south to north, heading to Mount Hope, constructing hand line in steep and rugged terrain. They will be aided by an Infra-red mapping tool that helps to identify hot spots. Helicopters continue to provide air support to areas where it is unsafe for firefighters to engage the fire directly.
 Smoke: Smoke will continue to be present in the fire area and surrounding communities. With several large fires in the area contributing to lower air quality, residents can experience eye irritation, respiratory issues and aggravated heart and lung health problems. These can impact children and older adults more severely. Residents are encouraged to get more information on air quality in their area by visiting: http://airnow.gov/index.cfm action=airnow.local state&stateid=5&tab=0 Additionally, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers general health information for people in and around wildfire areas. For more information on how to mitigate the effects of smoke and other fire related issues, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/
Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Sunday July 29th, 2012 approx. 01:57 AM
Location 20 miles NW of Quincy, CA
Incident Commander Rocky W. Opliger
Current Situation
Total Personnel 1,196
Size 64,214 acres
Percent Contained 55%
Estimated Containment Date Friday August 31st, 2012 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved - 10 Timber (litter and understory) low brush with numerous dead and down 1000 hour logs and standing snags. FM10 is most representative of the fuels and the observed fire behavior.
Fire Behavior - Active fire behavior with short runs and some spotting.
Significant Events - Progress made on firing operations along Divisions V/W and X.
Outlook Planned Actions - Patrol for and contain spot fires, mop up 300'. Firing operations on Div. W/X and V.
Growth Potential - Extreme
Terrain Difficulty - Extreme
Remarks: Mandatory Evacuation of the communities of Canyon Dam, Big Meadows. Prattville has been lifted to advisement. Type 1 helicopters are essential to minimize fire spread and support ground troops in direct line construction. PG&E crews are repairing poles on the Caribou-Westwood line and the lines from Butt valley dam to the North fork of the Feather river. Seneca remains under mandatory evacuation. Rush Crk rd. from Hwy 70 is open to residents only. The Chester Memorial Hall is open as an evacuation center. Total burned acres are at 64,214. Plumas NF burned acres 38,582, Lassen NF 17,674, SRA burned acres 7958.
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CA-MDF Antelope Fire. 650 acres. 66% contained.
 Significant progress on 8/24 on extending containment lines and mop-up. Hose lines are in place surrounding the fire. Isolated tree torching within unburned islands was observed. 
F & C Reservoir campgrounds and all forest roads reopened today for public use.
Incident Overview
The Antelope fire is currently 650 acres, West of Big Sage Reservoir in the Jacks Butte Area on the Devils Garden RD. Progress has been made on the containment lines by crews on the ground and with assistance from aircraft. Plans for today include continuing line construction, securing the perimeter of the fire and mopping up 100 feet within the containment line.
The Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team 7, Jim Smith, Commander, has assumed command of the fire as of 6:00 am on August 24, 2012.
Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Tuesday August 21st, 2012 approx. 01:47 PM
Location Jacks Butte
Incident Commander Jim Smith
Current Situation
Total Personnel 416
Size 650 acres
Percent Contained 66%
Estimated Containment Date Sunday August 26th, 2012 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved - Timber, Grass and Understory
Fire Behavior - Isolated tree torching, creeping and smoldering.
Significant Events - Significant progress today on extending containment lines and mop-up. Hose lines are in place surrounding the fire. Much needed crews arrived and are make good progress. Type 3 helicopter is being used for mapping and suppression as needed.
Outlook Planned Actions - Plans for today include continuing line construction, securing the perimeterof the fire and mopping up to 100 feet within the containment line.
Growth Potential - High
Terrain Difficulty - High
Remarks: Fire is smoldering and creeping with some torching on interior islands. The fire has been burning in and around the lava rock, making it difficult to develop a continuous fire line.
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CA-NOD Rush Fire. 320,793 acres. 65% contained.
 The Rush fire started about 15 miles southeast of Ravendale, Calif., on Aug. 12. It now has burned an area measuring 42 miles long and 16 miles wide and is completely east of U.S. Highway 395.

 Containment efforts continue to be difficult due to critically dry fuels ,winds, low relative humidity and travel distances. The observed fire behavior on 8/24 was primarily creeping and smoldering with short bursts of active flames as heavier fuels ignited.
Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Sunday August 12th, 2012 approx. 06:42 PM
Location 15 miles SE of Ravendale, California
Incident Commander Turman
Current Situation
Total Personnel 827
Size 320,793 acres
Percent Contained 65%
Estimated Containment Date Tuesday August 28th, 2012 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved - Grass, sagebrush, junipers (5 Brush - 2 Feet)
Fire Behavior - On Friday, firefighters saw the fire creeping and smoldering with short bursts of active flames as thicker areas of vegetation ignited.
Significant Events - Burnout on the northeastern flank was completed to improve and secure containment lines. Public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management in eastern Lassen County, Calif., and western Washoe County, Nevada, remain closed.
Outlook Planned Actions - On Saturday, crews on the northeastern flank will continue to secure and mop up along containment lines, burning out as needed. Farther south, crews continued repair work and patrolled.
Growth Potential - Extreme
Terrain Difficulty - High
Remarks: The fire has burned 275,650 acres in California and 45,143 acres in Nevada. The following resources are assigned to the fire: 827 firefighters and support people, 5 helicopters, 21 engines, 17 bulldozers, and 18 water tenders.
Current Weather
Wind Conditions 18 mph SW
Temperature 90 degrees
Humidity 5%
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CA-TGU Ponderosa Fire. 27,676 acres. 74% contained.
 The fire continued to burnout interior islands with a creeping ground fire and isolated torching where the fuel ladder is present. No significant or moderate fire behavior was observed.
 Conditions: Fire crews made significant progress overnight, increasing the percentage of fire containment to 74%. There is approximately ½ million feet of fire hose on the ground. Areas within the interior of the fire perimeter continue to flare-up. Fire crews are working vigilantly to control them, using aircraft and ground resources. As containment increases, we will continue to release firefighters and equipment or reassign them to other incidents across the state. Other firefighters will continue the damage assessment process. Hazards within the fire perimeter continue to be a safety concern for firefighters and the public
 Evacuations: As of 1200 noon today, the following areas will be open to residents only with proper identification: Rock Creek Road, Ponderosa Way, and Forward Mills Rd.
 All areas within the fire perimeter are closed to all persons, including residents and property owners.  The Red Cross Shelter at Big League Dreams is closed. 
 Drinking water is available at Manton School while the Boole Ditch water system is being repaired. Residents are encouraged to minimize usage of the schools water during the hours 8:00am to 3:30pm, due to school being in session. 
 The Red Cross will be providing a limited amount of bottled water at the Manton School starting Saturday, August 25, 2012 through Monday, August 27,2012, between the hours of 8:00am to 6:00pm.
Closed areas still in effect: There is still fire personnel working in the areas listed below and the conditions are not in favor of opening the entire area.

  • All burned areas are closed until further notice.
  • All areas within the fire perimeter remain closed to all persons, including residents and property owners.
  • South of Hwy 44 between S-line and A-line Road. That includes the following roads leading south of Highway 44: A-line, S-line, P-line. Long Hay Flat Road and Bailey Creek, and Rock Creek Road at Bailey.
  • All private roads and Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) roads, south of Hwy 44 are still closed until further notice.
  • All dirt roads and SPI roads are closed south of Shingletown, please refrain from trying to enter this area. This will only delay fire suppression in the area.

Basic information:
Date/Time Started: August 18, 2012 11:37 am
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Tehama-Glenn Unit
County: Tehama & Shasta Counties
Location: Off Ponderosa Way, southeast of Manton
Acres Burned: 27,676 acres
Containment 27,676 acres - 74% contained
Structures Destroyed: 64 residences & 20 outbuildings destroyed
Threatened: 300 residences, 10 commercial properties and 30 outbuildings remain threatened.
Injuries: 4
Cause: Lightning
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, Tehama and Shasta County Sheriff, CHP, CDCR, CAL TRANS, SPI, PG&E
Total Fire Personnel: 2,238 (1,604 CAL FIRE)
Engines: 192 (91 CAL FIRE)
Fire crews: 55 CAL FIRE
Helicopters: 11
Dozers: 21 (13 CAL FIRE)
Water tenders: 52
Phone Numbers (530) 225-2510 (Fire Information) 
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CA-MNF North Pass Fire. 24,199 acres. 32% contained. 
Type I crews are holding the fire at contingency lines. Active fire behavior, with crown fire runs and short to intermediate range spotting, has been observed.
 The fire continues to spread to the East to Forest Road M2, South towards Anthony’s Ridge, North to Cedar Springs Ridge and Northeast towards Pothole Creek and Steel Bench.  Structure threats: Seventy-five (75) residences, five (5) commercial properties and eighty (80) outbuildings remain threatened. 
Evacuations: A community meeting will be held at Black Butte River Ranch (34985 Etsel Ridge Road, Covelo) at 5:00 PM today, August 25.
Mandatory Evacuations for:
  • Indian Dick Road, east of the Town of Covelo, all residents on Indian Dick Road from the intersection of Mendocino Pass Road north, to the Trinity County Line and East to the Tehama County Line.
  • Order includes all residences and USFS campsites at Howard Lake Campground, Little Doe Campground, and Hammerhorn Lake Campground.
  • All USFS Wilderness Trailheads at Blands Cove, Hell Hole, Stick Lake, Foster Glade, Asa Bean, Rock Cabin, Georges Valley, Soldier Ridge, Smokehouse Ridge and Green Springs.

  Outlook/Planned actions: For the next 48 hours, the fire is projected to have limited movement north towards Castle Peak and Red Rock and continue to move east to Forest Road M2 and South toward Anthony Ridge. Firefighters continue to establish and improve containment lines while defending structures.
 Road closures: An area closure has been issued and posted for the area surrounding the North Pass fire. Please checkwww.fs.usda.gov/mendocino or inciweb.org for more information. 
Smoke Conditions: An air quality alert has been issued for the Covelo/Round Valley areas through Monday, August 27. Smoke concentrations in these areas have reached levels considered to be “Hazardous” under state and federal air quality standards. . 
Basic information: 
Date/Time Started: August 18, 2012 2:47 am
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit / Mendocino National Forest
County: Mendocino County
Location: Mendocino Pass Rd, northeast of Covelo
Acres Burned: 24,199 acres
Containment 24,199 acres - 32% contained
Structures Destroyed: 2 outbuilding
Threatened: 75 residences, 5 commercial properties & 80 outbuildings
Injuries: 3
Cause: Lightning
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, USFS Mendocino, BIA, Covelo Fire, CDCR, California National Guard, Mendocino Co. Sheriff's Dept.
Total Fire Personnel: 1,287 (825 CAL FIRE)
Engines: 110 (80 CAL FIRE)
Fire crews: 31 CAL FIRE
Airtankers: 2
Helicopters: 10
Dozers: 32 (12 CAL FIRE)
Water tenders: 23
Major Incident Command Team: CAL FIRE is in unified command with the US Forest Service
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CA-KNF Fort Complex. 8,884 acres. 37% contained. 
The Goff Fire is projected to continue growing to the north and west. Uphill runs late in the afternoon with some spotting across the containment lines was observed.
 There are NO current evacuations in Seiad Valley or Happy Camp due to the Goff Fire at this time. The Goff Fire, now 7,500 acres is currently 15 percent contained. Command of the Goff Fire has been transferred to a National Incident Management Organization or NIMO Team. There is a current closure of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from Highway 96 to Lily Pad lake. Please visit the Klamath National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/klamath for complete closure information. Keep checking back here for Goff Fire information updates. The Fruit and Lick Fires are nearly 100 percent containment. Command of these two fires has been transferred back to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. No additional updates on the Fruit or Lick Fires are expected unless conditions change. The total acerage of the three fires that are within the Fort Complex is 8,883 acres (Goff Fire - 7,500 acres; Hello Fire - 977 acres; Lick Fire - 403 acres). The overall containment of the Fort Complex is 37 percent.
 A lightning storm that moved through the Northern California and Southern Oregon area on August 5th, 2012, started mutiple fires on the Klamath National Forest and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Firefighters from both forests quickly contained many of the fires over several days. However three of the fires that were in steep and rugged terrain continued to grow. The Hello Fire in the Red Buttes Wilderness and the Lick Fire burning about five miles east of the Red Buttes Wilderness are in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Together with the Goff Fire, which is on the Klamath National Forest, the three fires are being managed as the Fort Complex.
 PUBLIC USE RESTRICTIONS AND TRAIL AND ROAD CLOSURES:
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Fire Prevention Public Use Restriction
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Trail and Road Closures
Klamath National Forest Trail and Road Closures
Pacific Crest Trail Closed Due to Goff Fire
Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Sunday August 05th, 2012 approx. 07:00 PM
Location Complex of 3 fires in CA; the Goff Fire near Seiad, CA; the Hello & Lick Fires-2 mi. SW of Apple
Incident Commander Dan Kleinman
Current Situation
Total Personnel 461
Size 8,884 acres
Percent Contained 37%
Estimated Containment Date Thursday August 30th, 2012 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved - Brush, timber and timber understory.
Fire Behavior - The GOFF FIRE is currently at 7,500 acres and 15 percent contained.It continues to mainly a backing fire accelerated by rollout of down logs. On the north side there were some uphill runs in brush and timber fuels with torching. In the Portuguese Creek drainage there were some uphill runs to the east and southeastlate in the afternoon with some spotting across the containment lines. The fire continues to burn very actively during the day and early evening.
Significant Events - Spotting across the Pacific Crest Trail, improving line and using strategic firing where appropriate to hold the fire within the Portuguese Drainage. The Rogue River--Siskiyou National Forest continues to downsize the number of resources assigned. The Pacific Crest Trail has been closed from Highway 96 to Lily Pad Lake. The National Boundary Trail has also been closed. Smoke impacts will vary depending on wind direction and other fires.
Outlook Planned Actions - GOFF FIRE - Efforts are focused on holding the fire near Lower Devils Peak and structure protection in Seiad Valley.
Growth Potential - The growth potentail for the GOFF FIRE is medium.
Terrain Difficulty - All three Fort Complex Fires are burning in extreme terrain.
Remarks: GOFF FIRE - Fire crews continued to make line improvements between Lower Devils Peak and Highway 96 using fire strategically in limited places to reinforce containment lines.
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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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