Firefighters continue to make great progress around the perimeter of the fire with opportunities to go direct and put in aggressive handline while working to tie-in those lines with adjacent divisions. Crews continue to get depth on containment lines on the west side of the fire.
The main tactic remains the same as fire personnel work to secure direct and indirect line construction on all sections of the fire. Weather is playing a major role in this fire’s behavior. Slope and terrain driven runs still influence rate of spread. Thunderstorms continue to creep into the forecast with isolated cells, potentially creating outflow winds that could produce erratic gusts up to 30 mph. Contingency lines from bulldozers are in place around much of the fire’s perimeter should the firefighters’ lines not hold, in order to protect the communities at risk. Flanking and backing continue with the weather and terrain driven fire behavior, especially in the Mill Creek area.
Mop-up operations have been initiated along Walker Bridge and other communities along Highway 96 from Highway 263 junction to Seiad, east towards Yreka, Scott Bar, and Horse Creek on the west. Protection of human life and the safety of the firefighters remains the main priority.
Yesterday in the early afternoon, the Smokey Fire ignited just north of the McKinney Fire, about 2 miles south of the Oregon border. With resources on the McKinney Fire so close by, firefighters were able to quickly respond for initial attack on the 34-acre spread. Firefighters have control line and hose-lays completely around it and aircraft continue to be utilized in the area as needed.
Isolated thunderstorm cells in the northeast are being monitored. Temperatures to reach 95-105 in lower elevations and 85-95 in higher and smoked in areas. Humidity is forecasted to be around 10-15%. Erratic wind gusts could reach up to 30 miles per hour in thunderstorm affected areas.
According to USFS officials, 5 helicopters, 242 engines, 39 dozers, 47 water tenders, 53 crews, and 2404 personnel are currently working this incident.