The Smith River wildfire complex surpassed 80,000 acres on a day of increased fire activity.
Amid strong wind and low humidity Wednesday, the Kelly and Coon fires merged at the complex’s southwest edge, said the daily report from the forest service’s fire managers.
The acreage burned was at 83,974 acres (131 square miles), with 8% containment. The control line remained secure at the edge of the evacuated community of Gasquet, the report said.
To the southeast, the Happy Camp complex also saw the merging of two fires, Ufish and Malone. That complex is at 25,503 acres (40 square miles) with 45% containment.
The map above shows the mandatory evacuation areas in reddish tint and the approximate perimeters of the largest fires in black.
A cold front was moving in to northwest California on Thursday, and cloudy, cool weather was expected for the rest of the week.
The Smith River and Happy Camp fires started during lightning storms on Aug. 15-16, and Smith River is California’s second biggest wildfire of the season. The York Fire burned 93,078 acres, most of it in the Mojave National Preserve.
For official updates and more information, see the links under each description below.
Del Norte County
Smith River Complex (orange dots). 83,974 acres (131 square miles), 8% containment.
Evacuation order: Gasquet and all other communities along Highway 199 from just east of Hiouchi to the Oregon line, plus residents in forested areas near the major fires.
Power outage: Pacific Power de-energized transmission lines in the county in the early days of the fire. Power restoration was expected to be complete for customers in Crescent City, Smith River and Fort Dick by Aug. 25.
Schools: Opening date has been pushed back to Sept. 5.
Happy Camp Complex (red dots). Initially 13 fires, the complex now totals 25,503 acres (38 square miles) with 45% containment. More than 1,600 structures are threatened and nine have been destroyed. One resident, a 71-year-old man, was found dead outside his home near Scott Bar, in the evacuation zone.
Evacuation order: Two areas totaling about 185 square miles, shown in red on the map. The warning areas are not shown; find them with the Genasys link.
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