NW California Fires – 9/13/2023 Infrared Interpretation

Not much new spread to report this morning on NW Ca. fires. After the rains 2 weeks ago, technical specialists on the incident management teams in NW California said we shouldn’t expect things to dry out enough to burn until right about now. In addition to relatively mild conditions, one factor affecting the lack of major fire spread on these fires is that for the most part, the most active parts of the fires are on top of ridges, where they don’t have the topography to support uphill runs. While conditions are drying, they are still quite mild, with high overnight humidities and moderate morning temperatures.

Weather as of 0900, 9/13/2023.

Mild burning conditions are expressed in the fire behavior on the Smith River Complex, where the most interesting things on today’s IR are to be found. The 9/11 firing ops on north edge of Smith River Complex look like they fizzled out once they stopped lighting. Black is the 9/12 morning IR perimeter, colors are from 9/13 IR. Also, 400 acres of new interior firing are showing up here in the center of the image with the patches of orange. These areas were drone ignitions.

On the Six Rivers Complex, IR shows minor spread on Mosquito Fire and Bluff Fire. It looks like firefighters are doing some firing ops to tie the fire into roads or deepen the black inside of previous firing ops which have gone out.

Below, the Bluff Fire shows some firing inside previous firing ops on NW edge. Black is 9/12 perimeter. 9/13 is orange and yellow.

Blue 2 Fire, in Siskiyou Wilderness, grew about 75 acres.

A little flanking spread on the Pearch Fire above Butler Flat. No new spread on west side of Pearch. There are homes at Butler Flat, downhill of this fire, but the folks who live at Butler have been through this before. This is what good fire looks like.

On the KNF Happy Camp Complex, the U-Fish fire is continuing its crawl to the Klamath River and Titus Creek. There is some potential for a slope-driven run to the south if it crosses Titus Creek, but the fire is still contained by 2021 McCash Fire (blue), as is the Hancock Fire, burning to the south. Hancock has some residual heat, but hasn’t spread for 2 weeks. It sounds like the hotshot crews which were flown into Hancock may have finished their indirect lines and left.

Hancock Fire