A wildfire was reported Thursday evening around 6:30 p.m. in the Ishi Wilderness of Lassen National Forest. The fire is located north of Cohasset in the Graham Pinery area near Wildcat Creek. As of this morning the fire is estimated to be between 50 to 75 acres and continues to burn in heavy timber and steep terrain.
“We are using a full suppression strategy to try and contain the fire as quickly as possible,” said William Miller, Lassen’s Chief Forest Fire Management Officer. “The Forest dispatched Smokejumpers out of Redding to assist with the initial attack. We have received clearance for use of chainsaws and repellant drops in the wilderness area.
Due to Ishi’s wilderness status, mechanical equipment is normally not allowed within its boundaries. Special permission is needed to use chainsaws and to fly in retardant and Smokejumpers. Multiple resources from CalFire and the Forest Service are on scene under the command of Battalion Chief, Robert Rice, of the Almanor Ranger District. The fire is currently lead by a Lassen Incident Command Team (ICT) and will transition to a Type II ICT in a few days.
Retardant was dropped Thursday evening before dark. Smokejumpers have been working on containment overnight as conditions and safety allow. Nighttime firefighting is inherently dangerous, especially in extremely steep terrain and dense fuels.
Weather forecasts through Saturday show a pattern of hot and dry weather conditions with winds up to 20 miles per hour. Sunday has a 50% chance of thundershowers with winds up to 24 miles per hour. With this forecast in mind, crews are aggressively fighting this fire.
Currently, no buildings are under threat and there are no closures or. If travelling through Cohasset and Campbellville, expect to see smoke and have some delays as equipment is moved through the area.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Follow us on Facebook @LassenNF and Twitter @LassenNF for the latest updates on the #Graham Fire.