Wednesday fire update: Bald Fire 68% contained


The Eiler Fire in eastern Shasta County has burned 31,085 acres and is 35% contained as of Wednesday morning. The fire is about 2 1/2 miles outside Burney. Full containment expected on Wednesday, August 20. Evacuation orders were lifted Tuesday afternoon. Crews will continue patrolling the affected areas to assure residents are able to re-occupy their homes. The post offices in Cassel and Hat Creek have reopened, mail delivery will resume Wednesday. With the increased humidity and rain, firefighters continue to make progress on strengthening control lines and mopping up hot spots around the fire perimeter. Highway 89 from Cassel Road to Highway 44 is open to residents only. No commercial traffic allowed on Highway 89 from Highway 299 to Highway 44. The Bald Fire is burning just to the east of the Eiler Fire, near the Shasta-Lassen County line in the Lassen National Forest. Containment of the Bald Fire has increased to 68% and the fire has burned 39,926 acres. The estimated containment is Sunday, August 17. The Coffee Fire in Trinity County has burned 4665 acres and is 15% contained. Personnel has also increased to 412. Crews have worked to hold the southwest portion of the fire in the East Fork of Coffee Creek drainage. The crews fired out vegetation along the bottom of the drainage with the intent of increasing the width of the line. This created a buffer that protects the fire line from rolling materials and embers that can potentially carry fire across the drainage After several days of fire line preparation on the south end of the Coffee Fire, firefighters are now planning to begin the burning operation to tie the fire line into trail and road systems. This operation is expected to continue through Saturday evening. The focus is to slowly and safely back the fire down to Coffee Creek Rd. between the North and East Forks of the Coffee Creek drainage. This tactic allows firefighters to have some control of the intensity of the fire to help preserve the soils and root systems on the hillside while removing fuels that could carry the fire across the line under adverse conditions. Given the current fire situation, terrain, dry fuels and the available resources, it is unsafe to attempt a direct attack on this portion of the fire. An aerial burning operation allows firefighters to meet our objectives while minimizing risk to both firefighters and the public. Coffee Creek Rd. remains open but residents can expect delays due to firefighters and equipment working on the road. Non-residents are advised to avoid the area due to potential congestion. Please exercise extreme caution when driving Coffee Creek Rd. There is a potential for increased smoke conditions due to the burning operation and residents with respiratory health issues should remain inside and avoid exertion.