MENDOCINO Co., 6/19/19 — The East Fire has reached 125 acres in size and is one percent contained, with over 110 personnel on the scene to manage the blaze and more on the way, the United States Forest Service announced this morning. The fire began with lightning strikes on Monday evening and had reached an esteemed 100 acres as of Tuesday night.
Another lightning fire which began Monday evening, the Haynes Fire, has grown to ten acres and is being monitored. You can see the previous updates in Tuesday's article.
The fire is moving to the southeast, and fire managers plant to confine the fire "between East Ridge, Buck Ridge and Wrights Ridge." USFS managers have developed a strategy which they say will minimize risk to fire fighters while also allowing some brush to burn to reduce the risk of high intensity fires in the future. The East Fire is located in a former burn scar from 2008, and crews are on the scene using existing trails, natural features, and water drops to create the minimal amount of necessary containment line using what's called a "minimum suppression impacts technique."
A cold front is predicted to arrive Wednesday evening, which USFS notes could increase fire activity.
Here's the full press release from USFS:
WILLOWS, Calif. — June 19, 2019 — The East Fire located 43 miles west of Red Bluff in the Yolla Bolly Wilderness on the Mendocino National Forest is estimated at 125 acres. It was reported by Anthony Peak Lookout June 17 at 4 p.m.Press release, 10 a.m., USFS on June 19, 2019.
Forest officials have chosen to use a confinement strategy for the East Fire. The factors that officials considered in making that determination include firefighter safety, access to the fire, its location, potential areas of concern, likely growth over time and current and forecast weather. The designated confinement area is between East Ridge, Buck Ridge and Wrights Ridge.
The objectives for this incident include reducing exposure to firefighters, removing hazardous fuels, protecting wilderness characteristics and decreasing the probability for high severity wildfires in the future. Approximately 100 resources are managing the East Fire including smokejumpers, hotshot crews and aircraft. Today, fire crews plan to remove brush and reinforce the confinement area boundary along the East Ridge.
There is another wildfire southeast of the East Fire called the Haynes Fire. Several crews are taking actions to suppress this 10-acre fire. Crews report minimal activity on this incident.
In order to protect wilderness characteristics, crews are using minimum impact suppression tactics or MIST. These tactics include using natural barriers, minimizing tree cutting, using aircraft and water drops to slow fire spread and constructing the minimum amount of fireline needed to maintain the confinement area. The use of chain saws in the wilderness is authorized when necessary.
More information can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6394/.