The Delta Fire as of Friday morning. The two large yellow clusters on the right are from the Hirz Fire.
I am going to keep things brief and direct this morning. I will update throughout the day as I see things worth adding.
The Delta Fire continues to burn furiously in the mountains north of Lakehead. It has grown to 24,558 acres. Though the fire does not seem to have advanced much to the north, it has expanded on the southwest and northeast corners. The former is not a significant problem, since it is likely to just burn up to contingency fire lines cut in for the Carr Fire. Unfortunately, this is not the case on the northeast side. The fire has gathered strength in the Sacramento River canyon. I hope that they can really jump on this fast. At least with the day arriving they have the opportunity to bring aerial resources into play.
A closer look at the fire. The yellow cluster at center bottom marks the initial expansion of the fire.
Aside from weather conditions, I think there are two challenges (and I am just guessing here. I am no expert) facing firefighters at this time. First is the rugged conditions in the canyon. The sides are steep and tough to access in some places. The canyon also works against aerial resources. It is probably almost like having to make the trench run on the Death Star. The second problem this part of the fire poses is the presence of lots of old clear cuts. These presents the possibility of accelerated spreading of spot fires.
This perspective is looking from east to west. It gives a little more sense of the ruggedness of the terrain.
On the east side of the fire, the Delta Fire has linked up with the older Hirz Fire. This does function as something of a natural fire break, allowing resources to be more focused on areas of more pressing need. There are some blessings to be found here. First, the fires are now connected in more ways than one. The command and resource structure of the Hirz Fire has taken over the Delta Fire. Among other things, this means that a lot of assets and firefighters are able to be allocated swiftly. If the fire keeps burning to the southwest, it may eventually close the gap with the Carr Fire. If this happens, there will be, amazingly, one long black scar running across the southeast corner of the Klamath Mountains. In a roughly 45 mile arc, it will stretch all the way from Igo to just southeast of Dunsmuir. That is absolutely shocking.
This map is a bit out of date already, the Delta and Hirz having merged.
While the canyon is under dire threat, the fire has not advanced to the north much. While human geography is more important than the natural, I have been hoping that the Tamarack Lake area might be spared. While this is by no means a sure likely outcome, it has, thus far, dodged the bullet. I am hoping it continues to do so.
Here is the progression of the fire throughout yesterday to this morning. Note how the intensity subsided a bit yesterday, flared up in the evening and then expanded into the canyon north of Pollard Flat. That is the really critical point of defense right now.
I feel that I need to note that all of the information offered here is my own assessment of the situation and speculation. If anything proves false, I apologize and ask for correction. Let’s hope this thing gets whipped soon!
Update (1:00 PM):
Black = built lines, Dark Blue = under construction, Purple = speculative
Based on the current Delta Fire activity report and the already extant fire lines cut in to defend against the Carr and Hirz Fires, I think it is possible to start to get an idea on what the plan is for the Delta Fire. On the map above, I marked all the Carr and Hirz fire lines in black. Some of those are already in use, holding back the Delta Fire. The activity report states that bulldozers are currently cutting in a line on Middle Ridge, which runs from roughly Sims up to Baker Point, above Tamarack Lake. This is marked on the map in dark blue. I am guessing, though I have no confirmation, that they will try to hold the ridge running from Baker west toward Red Mountain and then down to the East Fork of the Trinity River. I marked this speculative line in purple. This seems like the most effective and logical place to make a stand on the northwest side of the fire. I sure hope so, otherwise a lot of place we all love to visit are exposed to the flames.