“Mile Post 21” fire continues to burn, Remains 30% contained


HOOPA VALLEY, Calif. (KIEM)-The “Mile Post 21” fire that continues to burn in Northern Humboldt, remains only 30-percent contained as of 10 p.m. Wednesday evening. 

Motorists along a major roadway will be affected, so far the fire has burned about 150 acres.

The fire off U.S. route 96 in Hoopa Valley started Monday, and there are no signs of letting up. Engine Captain for Six Rivers National Forest/USFS says, those assisting with the fire have been clocking 16 hour days.

“It’s going to get hotter and dryer, there’s predicted thunder storms,” said Norman Goodwin.

The wind, also a factor, small gusts fueled the fire which caused smoke to re-appear in the distance.

Helicopters worked overtime moving water from Trinity River to the fire to keep it in check, while fire officials come-up with a plan.

“So were buying time on Division Alpha right now we got DIC, he’s out scouting the fire, the fire is not contained,” said Goodwin.

Fire Chief Gregory Moon Sr. who is also a tribal member was just hired-on with as fire chief with the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

“Structure wise we are safe, the flank that the structure are on is secure,” said Moon.

According to Moon, the fire is now established into the drainage, and is starting to the flanking, as I was talking to you, so far it’s on the Bull Creek and we are keeping it the south side of this ridge.”

The plan now is to fight the fire indirectly.

“Which means we can’t go on the fires edge,” said Moon. “That’s going to take more time, and it’s going to take more fire line supervision, so we can keep our fire fighters safe.”

Representatives from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Cal Fire, Hoopa Valley delegates and additional agencies, gathered at the Hoopa Wild Land Fire House to complete the delegation of authority transfer process.

Fighting the fire amid covid-19 is something Moon says, is a factor when it comes to logistics.

“When you have a large incident, you bring those folks together,” he said. “We are really trying to do things a little different.”

In the meantime Moon says, they will continue to work the fire, remain cost efficient and look out for the safety of fire fighters and the public.

“Depending on what plan makes the most sense, we’ll make that plan and if it takes time, it takes time,” he said. “If we are successful, we’ll be done.”

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