Special notes: There is a RED FLAG WARNING today, July 29, from 2 until 8pm.

Weather: Today’s conditions will be hot, dry, breezy, and unstable. The combination of gusty afternoon winds and low humidity will result in red flag conditions early this afternoon into the evening. Skies are forecast to remain sunny during the day, with temperatures as high as 95. Relative humidity could reach as low as 8%. Winds should be light and variable in the morning, becoming south-southwest at 10-15mph with gusts up to 20mph in the afternoon. Thursday and Friday could bring more red flag conditions due to wind and humidity. Conditions will remain sunny, very hot, dry, breezy, and unstable.

Current Situation: Fire behavior was much calmer on the Caldwell Fire yesterday than the previous two days; the fire is now 40% contained. Yesterday, crews conducted burning operations to even out the fire’s edge and fill in unburned areas. On the west side of the fire, the 49 road is holding well. Firefighters were able to begin direct control line construction on the south side of the fire, working from the 49 road eastward. Additionally, crews are still creating secondary control lines south of the fire perimeter. On the southeast corner, dozers and firefighters succeeded in creating solid control line, and this allowed the residents of Tionesta to return to their homes. On the east side, fire held well along the 120 road, and fire crews built control line all around the fire area that had crossed over the railroad tracks. On the north, fire flanked into the marsh and the tule is receptive to burning, however, fire is holding well at the 120 road.

The Gillem Fire was active yesterday and is now 3,669 acres. It is burning in difficult terrain that is not fully accessible to firefighters. Dozers and engines worked where safety allowed, and firefighters conducted burning operations along the 49 road. Aircraft were not able to drop water over the Gillem Fire yesterday because of smoke impacts.

Crews and equipment will continue similar work as yesterday on the Caldwell Fire, securing the fire’s edge and ensuring that control lines are solid and effective. Firefighters on the south side will extend the direct line they began yesterday. Firefighters working in the Gillem Fire area will construct direct and indirect control line and hold and improve existing control line to help limit spread. Night resources remain on the Caldwell and Gillem fires, and they are successfully enhancing daytime efforts.

Red Flag conditions could contribute to increased fire behavior today, and drought stressed fuels are still holding heat for long periods of times. Any hold-over new starts from previous lighting strikes could show active behavior today.

In order to keep mitigating COVID-19 risks, fire managers have established two new fire camps, allowing personnel to spread out and maintain social distancing recommendations to the best extent possible.

Allen and Dalton Fires: The Allen and Dalton fires have line around their entire perimeters. Staff are performing suppression repair activities, and managers anticipate being able to transfer command of these fires back to the Modoc National Forest.

Fire managers will employ tactics that safely engage fire while prioritizing firefighter and public safety and protecting values at risk. Life safety will always remain the number one priority. COVID-19 mitigations are being taken to limit exposure risks to firefighters and the public, per CDC guidelines.

Closures and Evacuations: There remains a MANDATORY EVACUATION in place for the Medicine Lake Recreation Area. The Lava Beds National Monument remains closed.

July Complex Statistics: 

  • Start Date: July 22, 2020
  • Location: Near Canby, CA, on Modoc National Forest
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Size: 75,567 (Caldwell), 1035 (Allen), 1,367 (Dalton) 3,669 (Gillam)
  • Percent Contained: 40% Cadwell, 80% Allen, 90% Dalton, 0% Gillem
  • Resources: 1676 personnel, 98 engines, 23 dozers, 28 water tenders, 12 available helicopters