What we know Friday about North State wildfires: LaMalfa to host North Complex information meeting in Oroville

David Benda Redding Record SearchlightPublished 10:55 AM EDT Sep 18, 2020Editor's note: We have made this stor

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Congressman Doug LaMalfa is scheduled to host an information session at 10 a.m. today at the Oroville Municipal Auditorium for those who had property directly impacted by the West Zone of the North Complex Fire.

The event also will be streamed on the U.S. representative's Facebook page, he wrote in a post. 

The North Complex is now the fifth largest fire in California history, surpassing the 2017 Thomas Fire.

The complex of fires had burned 284,437 acres as of Thursday night and destroyed 1,129 structures and stands as the 12th most destructive wildfire in state history, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. That includes 727 homes lost in the fire.

Cal Fire defines structures as homes, outbuildings (barns, garages, sheds, etc.) and commercial properties.

One person is still missing, according to Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea. He said his office is still following leads to find the person.

The complex of fires, which started Aug. 19 in the Plumas National Forest and blew up into Butte County on Sept. 8, has killed 15 people, authorities said. It is tied with the 2003 Cedar Fire and 1953 Rattlesnake Fire as the fifth most deadly fire in California history. 

The complex as a whole is estimated to be 40% contained, and the West Zone of the fire is estimated at 78,750 acres and 40% containment, according to Cal Fire. 

Thirteen of the people who died in the fire have been identified, including one whose name was released Thursday. Honea said the remains of Suzan Zurz, 76, of Berry Creek were found in the area of Graystone Lane and Coyote Road with two other fire victims previously identified as Philip Rubel and Millicent Catarancuic.

Previously, authorities identified 12 others who died:

  • Mark Delagardie, 61, of Berry Creek
  • Kin Lee, 64, of Berry Creek  
  • Jacob Albright, 74, of Feather Falls
  • Randy Harrell, 67, of Feather Falls
  • Paul Winer, 68, of Berry Creek
  • John Butler, age 79 of Berry Creek
  • Sandra Butler, age 75 of Berry Creek
  • Jorge Hernandez-Juarez, age 26 of Berry Creek
  • Philip Rubel, age 68 of Berry Creek
  • Khawar Bhatti, age 58 of Berry Creek
  • Millicent Catarancuic, age 77 of Berry Creek
  • Josiah Williams, age 16 of Berry Creek

On Thursday, the Butte County Sheriff's Office reduced their evacuation order to an evacuation warning for the area of Highway 70 from the West Branch Bridge north to Pulga Road, east to the north fork of the Feather River. That includes the community of Yankee Hill and all areas off Big Bend Road. 

Those who can't access evacuation updates on the sheriff's website can call 530-552-3010 seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Meanwhile, authorities have lifted all evacuation orders in western Glenn County associated with the August Complex of fires.

Evacuations are lifted for the Mendocino National Forest — forest boundary line in Glenn County, west to Mendocino County.

Residents and property owners may return to their properties but are urged to use caution when entering the burn scar area because hazards may be present.

North Complex

  • Location: Butte, Plumas counties
  • Size: 284,437 acres; West Zone is 78,750 (as of  Friday)
  • Containment: 40%; West Zone is 40%
  • Notes: 15 deaths, 13 have been identified and their families have been notified; 1 missing; evacuations in place; includes the Bear and Claremont fires, according to state officials
  • Incident management page: https://bit.ly/2RhRhKE and https://bit.ly/2FHnacS
  • Cost: $72.7 million (as of  Friday)

Slater/Devil Fires

  • Location: Siskiyou, Del Norte, Josephine (Oregon) counties
  • Size: 149,999 acres (Slater: 143,092; Devil: 6,907) 
  • Containment: 10% on Slater; 0% on Devil
  • Notes: 2 deaths reported; Some evacuation orders have been lifted in Happy Camp. evacuation warnings are still in place for most of Happy Camp including Elk Creek Road, and for Seiad along Highway 96, as well as for Gasquet, Hiouchi, and Big Flat, according to InciWeb.
  • Cost: $6.4 million (as of  Friday)
  • U.S. Forest Service officials have combined the Slater and Devil fires in the far northwestern part of the state into one fire.
  • Incident management page: https://bit.ly/3koQAfg and https://bit.ly/2RxqSIN

Fox Fire

  • Location: Siskiyou County, Callahan area
  • Size: 1,512 acres
  • Containment: 0% 
  • Notes: *Evacuations in place; there is active fire behavior with group torching, wind driven runs, and short distance spotting, per Inciweb; "(Thursday's) objective is to hold the fire on the northern edge of N17 Road and protection of the town of Callahan," per U.S. Forest Service
  • Cost: $100,000
  • Incident management page: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7203/

August Complex 

  • Location: Tehama, Mendocino, Humboldt, Lake, Glenn, Trinity counties
  • Size: 839,175 acres (as of Thursday)
  • Containment: 30% 
  • Notes: 1 death and 11 injuries; largest fire in California history, third largest fire in U.S. history; 35 structures destroyed; merged fires include Elkhorn, Hopkins, Willow, Doe and Vinegar
  • Incident management page: https://bit.ly/3meMIPB and https://bit.ly/3hEFctz
  • Cost: $44 million (as of Friday)
  • Expected containment: Nov. 15, 2020

News: Amid destruction, firefighter rescues 'fire cat' as it runs to him for safety

Butte/Tehama/Glenn Complex (Tehama/Glenn Zone)

  • Location: Tehama, Glenn counties
  • Size: 19,609 acres
  • Containment: 97% (as of Wednesday afternoon)
  • Notes: 1 injury; 14 structures destroyed, 1 damaged; the blaze includes multiple other smaller fires, according to state officials. Acreage was decreased because Elkhorn and Hopkins fires are no longer being counted in this complex.
  • Incident management page: https://bit.ly/2RiSgtV
  • Cost: $53.3 million

Red Salmon Complex

  • Location: Trinity and Humboldt counties, 14 miles northest of Willow Creek mainly in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area
  • Size: 99,310 (as of Thursday)
  • Containment: 17%
  • Notes: Started by lightning July 27 and is now burning in timber and threatening several communities.
  • Cost: $62.5 million (as of Friday)
  • Expected containment: Sept. 30, 2020

Shackleford Fire

  • Location: Siskiyou County, southwest of Quartz Valley Reservation
  • Size: 50 acres (as of Thursday)
  • Containment: 80%
  • Incident management page: https://bit.ly/2ZrN8s7

Schoolhouse Fire

  • Location: Schoolhouse Gap and McAdams Creek roads, north of Fort Jones in Siskiyou County
  • Size: 45 acres (as of Thursday)
  • Containment: 100%
  • Incident management page: https://bit.ly/2Rsej1u

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