The Soda fire grew to 515 acres today. The fire’s growth was to the west, north and east. The fire‘s movement was aided by gusty winds that were blowing out of the south/southeast and reached over 15 mph. The fire is still north of Clicks Creek and the North Fork of Clicks Creek. Flame lengths were 1-2 feet and no tree torching was observed. The fire grew at a moderate rate in the understory.
Snow on the road to Clicks Creek Trailhead was cleared for several miles today. The snow became thicker as the crew and equipment worked toward the trailhead. Eventually, the snow became too thick to continue and the operation was stopped. The road is now drivable to where the trail crosses the road which is approximately 5 miles from the fire. The trail has deep snow and ice which makes its use as the main access into the fire unfeasible at this time. The road will be used as a contingency for ingress/egress. The winter road closure is still in place and the road remains closed to the public.
The inversion lifted and the smoke cleared enough today to allow fire personnel to access the fire by helicopter. They were able to begin the fire investigation and scout some of the trail system that is likely to be used to help confine/contain the fire. Currently, there is not a need to insert ground resources and risk injuries to firefighters until the fire gets closer to the trails.
Tomorrow, firefighters will continue to monitor fire behavior by air. Fire officials will continue to monitor the fire’s spread to determine when it is necessary to insert ground personnel. Heavy equipment will be working to remove the snow on the road into Lewis Camp.
Down canyon winds at night will likely continue to push the smoke down the drainage and into Kernville. As the day warms and the inversion breaks, the smoke should lift out of the drainages and be pushed to the north.
Smoke can pose health concerns for the public. Residents are encouraged to visit the “Protect Yourself from Smoke” website for smoke protection information at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/.
For additional fire information, maps and photos, please visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3765/