Update: The estimated size of the Pansy fire near Swift Creek has been reduced to 0.75 acres due to better mapping, the U.S. Forest Service said. It is contained.
The largest fire currently reported in Trinity County is the Trinity fire northeast of Sherer Ridge in the far northeast corner of Trinity County. It is reported to be 5.5 acres and 45 percent contained.
The Shasta-Trinity National Forest reported more than 700 lightning strikes in 48 hours on the forest started multiple fires.
As of Tuesday, the largest fire in Trinity County was the Pansy fire several miles northwest of Preacher Meadow in the Swift Creek drainage, at approximately 4.2 acres. The Trinity Center Volunteer Fire Department responded to this fire which was reported Monday and “got it knocked down,” Trinity Center Fire Chief Bob Bryant said.
The U.S. Forest Service took over management of the Pansy fire.
In Trinity County on the Trinity River Management Unit, the following fires (all in the North County area except Barnum) were reported:
Aug. 10: Montgomery fire, Montgomery Ridge near Highway 3, 0.1 acre, contained.
Aug. 10: Tangle fire, Tangle Blue Creek and Highway 3, 0.1 acre, out.
Aug. 11: Stoney fire, Stoney Point at Trinity Lake, 0.1 acre, controlled.
Aug. 12: Sunflower fire, near Sunflower Creek, 0.5 acre, staffed
Aug. 12: Sherer fire, south of Sherer Ridge, 0.71 acre, staffed
Aug. 12: Barnum fire, near Big French Creek, 1.7 acres, staffed.
Aug. 12: Pansy fire, north of Preacher Meadow, 4.2 acres, staffed.
Aug. 12: Bushy fire, Granite Peak Road, 0.75 acre, staffed.
In the South Fork Management Unit:
Aug. 9: Pine fire, 0.25 acre, west of Brushy Mountain, out.
Fires are also reported in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest’s Shasta and McCloud units and National Recreation Area. Forest officials and firefighters closely monitor thunderstorms and use a combination of aerial reconnaissance flights, fire engine patrols, and reports of fire activity from the public to respond to fires. Reconnaissance flights are part of our normal operating plan after lightning storms.
When lightning strikes a tree, fire can smolder in that tree for several days. “Because of that we keep up our air reconnaissance after a lightning event to identify any potential hot spots or small fires,” said Joe Orosz, public affairs specialist for the Shasta-Trinity.
There was moisture with the thunderstorm, and as things dry out “it may take several days for those fires to become visible and produce smoke,” he said.
For updates on these lightning fires, go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6370/.