Saturday, 13 April 2024

Summit Fire grows to 350 acres

SNOW MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS – A fire burning in the Snow Mountain Wilderness on the Mendocino National Forest had grown to 350 acres by the end of the day Thursday, forest officials reported.

The Summit Fire, which was reported Wednesday afternoon, was 50 percent contained Thursday night, according to Mendocino National Forest spokesperson Tamara Schmidt. The fire is burning in timber and brush in steep, rugged terrain.

There is no estimated time for containment for the fire, the cause of which is still under investigation, Schmidt said.

The fire, burning in the southeast portion of the Snow Mountain Wilderness on the Grindstone Ranger District of the Mendocino National Forest, is located near the Summit Springs Trailhead approximately 25 miles west of Stonyford, Schmidt said.

The fire is currently holding and there was not much spread Thursday, Schmidt said. Winds were expected to pick up Thursday evening.

Schmidt said there are 16 assigned crews, five helicopters, three air tankers and 346 firefighters on scene. Firefighting resources are continuing direct attack with air support. Helicopters are using water from Lett's Lake to help fight the fire.

There are still concerns about the fire's potential impact on the Stony Creek drainage. Schmidt said resources threatened include watershed, wilderness values and threatened and endangered species.  

A Type 2 Incident Command Team lead by Kent Swartzlander was briefed on the fire at 2 p.m. Thursday in preparation for them to assume management of the fire Thursday night, working with the Mendocino National Forest.

While there are currently no closures or evacuations in the area, Schmidt said the public is asked to be aware of the situation, to respect fire traffic in the area, and to use sound judgment if evacuation is necessary for personal safety.  

She said there is a large amount of fire traffic moving along narrow mountain roads to access the fire and supplies.

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