Basho Watson Parks/Facebook
A fire burns in the Hudson Creek Drainage near Willow Creek.
An overnight lightning storm sparked numerous fires near Willow Creek and a variety of agencies are responding this morning, trying get a handle on the blazes before they spread.
The U.S. Forest Service reported that lightning strikes started eight new fires in Six Rivers National Forest early this morning. Information is scant about the blazes, but social media posts indicate the Willow Creek Volunteer Fire Department, the U.S. Forest Service, the Salyer Volunteer Fire Department and others responding, with smoke jumpers reportedly being dropped above Salyer.
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has issued a wildfire advisory in the area, asking residents to open locked gates to allow fire personnel access to their properties and urging residents to prepare for evacuations. At this point, however, no evacuation orders or warnings are in place.
The forests in the area are thick with accumulated fuel loads from years of drought conditions and the winter snow storm that downed scores of trees throughout the region in late December.
According to social media posts, a brief storm front passed through the area before dawn this morning, bringing lightning and brief periods of heavy rain. By 5 a.m., multiple fires had been reported.
The U.S. Forest Service released a list of the fires burning within Six Rivers National Forest:
U.S. Forest Service/Facebook
A map showing some of the eight fires sparked by lightning in Six Rivers National Forest this morning.
: Burning northeast of Willow Creek on Waterman Ridge Road.
: Burning northeast of Willow Creek on the ridge top near FS Road 7N12. Currently, staffed with three fire engines above the fire and two below, but there is no road access to the fire itself.
: Burning south of Willow Creek between Baldwin and Campbell Ridge.
: Burning south of Willow Creek on the west side of Campbell Ridge, above Campbell Ridge Road.
: Burning south of Willow Creek above Campbell Ridge Road.
: Burning south of Willow Creek near FS Road 5N31.
: Burning south of Willow Creek near the Oak Fire along FS Road 6N20.