California-Oregon Border Evacuated As 40,000-Acre Wildfire Spreads

The Smith River Complex wildfire along the California-Oregon border had destroyed 40,000 acres and forced evacuations as of Tuesday, 22, 2023 afternoon. It began on August 15, 2023,  after 150 lightning bolts struck the Six Rivers National Forest, causing at least 27 fires.

The fire has engulfed the Smith River National Recreation Area, a wilderness area in northwestern California. There is no containment in Del Norte County near Gasquet.

The Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order from Slant Bridge to the Oregon border, including Gasquet.

California-Oregon Border Evacuated As 40,000-Acre Wildfire Spreads

Including various road closures south of the Oregon-California border. Residents affected by the fire can seek emergency shelter through the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross California Gold Country Region has the most up-to-date shelter information. Residents are also encouraged to sign up for community notifications.

California-Oregon Border Evacuated As 40,000-Acre Wildfire Spreads

Josephine County in Oregon issued a Level 1 evacuation alert, meaning residents should pack and be ready to leave anytime. County officials are upgrading the Rogue Valley Emergency Management website with the most recent information.

The Kelly Fire and the Holiday Fire merged on Monday, according to a news release issued by the US Forest Service on Tuesday. The fire is now known as the Kelly Fire.

California-Oregon Border Evacuated As 40,000-Acre Wildfire Spreads

The erratic weather caused by Tropical Storm Hilary’s leftovers has also made it impossible for forecasters to predict how strong the wind gusts will be. The strongest gusts are expected above 1,000 feet.

Strong, dry winds blasted across the Smith River Complex’s high-elevation areas overnight, but the weather conditions did not endanger the public. Temperatures will drop on Tuesday, 22, 2023, perhaps reducing the fire.

As of Tuesday, 22, 2023, approximately 1,150 firefighters were on the site. More wildland engines and staff will arrive in the coming days.

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