HAPPY CAMP, CALIFORNIA—The Slater Fire started the night of September 7, near Slater Butte
Fire Lookout, on the Klamath National Forest. California Incident Management Team 10
assumed command of the incident at 6 a.m. today. This fire has burned 120,000 acres to date.
Fire-weather conditions today are expected to be similar to the past few days. Hot
temperatures with dry unstable air and record low fuel moistures could result in more extreme
fire behavior, fire spread in all directions, and plume-dominated fire activity.
Point protection of structures in threatened communities of Happy Camp, O Brien, Takilma,
Cave Junction, and Gasquet remains the top priority for the Team. Hot weather, drought-
stressed, dry fuels and extreme fire behavior resulted in power outages, road closures, and
evacuations for impacted communities on both sides of the California-Oregon border.
With a record number of fires across the West, resources are stretched thin nationally. This
resource shortage forces the incoming team to triage, and to develop a fire suppression
strategy with what limited resources are available. Firefighters have been working non-stop
since initial attack, employing what few resources they have. Air resources will be utilized for
reconnaissance and fire suppression as smoke and visibility permit.
A heat-detection flight yesterday showed a second fire burning east of the Slater Fire.
Estimated at 500 acres as of this morning, the Devils Fire is currently unstaffed and
uncontained. Cause of the fire is currently unknown, though boots-on-the-ground confirmed
the fire is burning north of Upper Devil’s Peak. Team 10 will also assume command of this fire.
These two fires—burning in steep, rugged country—have prompted widespread evacuations.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office issued mandatory evacuations along Highway 96 in the
Klamath River corridor. Del Norte County evacuated the town of Gasquet and put surrounding
areas on notice that they should be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Josephine County took
similar precautions for the Illinois Valley area in Oregon. Due to resource shortages, it is
especially important that residents heed evacuation orders and advisories, fire managers say.