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August Complex-South Zone Update: Lake Pillsbury Fuel Clearing, Fire Activity High


The following is a press release issued by the United State Department of Agriculture Forest Service:

Map of the August Complex South provided by the USDA Forest Service

Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, the fires known as the August Complex (Doe), Elkhorn, Hopkins, Willow, and Vinegar were combined and are now collectively known as the August Complex. The August Complex will be split into three management zones: South, North and West. These fires have all burned together and the intent is to simplify the coordination of effort, ordering and timely release of accurate information. Separate zone updates will be released daily in order to provide more localized information. The South Zone consists of the Doe Fire; the main area previously identified as the August Complex.

The August Complex will be managed under unified incident command between Great Basin Team 2- DeMasters (South Zone), California Interagency Incident Management Team 5-Young (North Zone), and CAL FIRE Team 5-Parkes (West Zone). The August Complex is burning on the Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests.

The August Complex has grown to 875,059 acres and is listed as the largest fire in California history (this includes 28,247 acres on the west zone managed by CAL Fire). The South Zone is now 498,202 acres and 25 percent contained.

Smoke cleared on parts of the fire Friday and helicopters assisted crews with water drops on hot spots around the fire. Saturday, crews will continue to clear fuels and prepare around structures near Lake Pillsbury and in the communities near Eel River and Bauer Ridge. Authorization has been given to utilize a decommissioned road within the Yuki Wilderness and resources will enter the area as necessary for fire suppression. Fire resources are coordinating with CAL FIRE Team 5 on the West Zone.

Weather: Smoke cover is expected to thin over the fire today allowing for increased heating. Temperatures will be in the mid-80s with relative humidity in the teens. South winds are expected to be 8-10 mph with gusts to 20 mph on the ridgetops. Fire activity will remain high with critically dry fuels.

Evacuations are in effect in many counties. New mandatory evacuations were issued yesterday evening in Mendocino County. See the Mendocino County Sheriff’s page for map of evacuation areas.

A Forest Closure Order is in effect. Order 08-20-12 (Sep. 5, 2020) and map are posted on the Mendocino NF website:

The most up to date information on the August Complex can be found on InciWeb:



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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Picking Brains—Baring Bones—Playing it By Ear: I'm a reporter in Mendocino County and the Founder of MendoFever.

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