Fire updates

This is the most current information at press time.

Fire causes rocky road A CalTrans plow removes burning logs and rocks from fire activity along U.S. 199 in the Smith River Canyon Thursday, Aug. 17. The Kelly Fire, now a part of the Smith River Complex, has caused the highway to be closed at the border until further notice.
(Photo by Daniel J. Mancuso, Illinois Valley News)

Gasquet, Calif., August 21, 2023 —Due to the complexity and expansive geographic area of the Smith River Complex, Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 13 (NWIMT13) has joined with California Interagency Incident Management Team 15 (CAIIMT-15) to manage the emerging incident. The addition of NWIMT-13 will be beneficial in providing management of resources assigned to the northern reaches of the Complex to aid in fire suppression activities and improved safety. CAIIMT-15 will continue suppression efforts on fires south of the California/Oregon border. Both teams will be working closely together as they share a mutual interest to provide for the safety and welfare of the affected public and firefighting personnel.
The Smith River Complex is approximately 35,392 acres with zero percent containment. A Red Flag Warning was issued Sunday for strong, dry, northeasterly winds which also prompted a new evacuation of the Gasquet community. Remote weather stations confirmed strong winds occurred on the upper elevations overnight, but fortunately never surfaced along the Smith River corridor, causing the fire to remain at the upper elevation and avoiding an imminent threat to the communities. Beginning Tuesday, weather is predicted to moderate with cooler temperatures. This cooling trend along with smoky conditions may reduce fire behavior across the complex. An infrared flight occurred yesterday evening and it confirmed that the Holiday and Kelly fires have merged. Going forward, the combined fire will be referred to as the Kelly Fire. Highway 199 remains closed. Pacific Power transmission lines continue to be threatened by the fires, as well.
Additional resources will continue to arrive to the incident, including six strike teams of both structure and wildland engines. These engines will be incorporated into the suppression efforts to protect communities and critical infrastructure. Additional engines and hand crews are expected to arrive over the next several days. Law enforcement personnel from multiple jurisdictions are also assisting with incident safety and security. There are currently over 850 total personnel on scene with many more expected to arrive over the next several days.
U.S. Highway 199 is fully closed in Del Norte County from Slant Bridge Road to Oregon Mountain Road (PM 16 to 31) due to the fires. A hard closure is in place on U.S. 199 at the Agriculture Station near the Oregon border. For the latest road conditions please visit https://www.quickmap.dot.ca.gov.delNorteOfficeOfEmergencyServices Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office: https://www.facebook.com/DelNorteCountySheriffDepartment Josephine County Emergency Management: https://www.facebook.com/josephinecountyEM

              Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest: https://www.facebook.com/R6RRSNF/