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Hirz Fire impacts Shasta Lake Businesses

Firefighters continue to battle the Hirz Fire burning north of Redding.

Posted: Aug. 20, 2018 7:25 PM
Updated: Aug. 21, 2018 7:54 AM

Firefighters continue to battle the Hirz Fire burning north of Redding.

Most of the southeast side of the fire along the McCloud arm of the lake has been contained.

But firefighters are focusing their efforts on the south and southwest parts of the fire.

“We have a great dozer line,” fire information specialist with the US Forest Service Daniel Ramey said. “It's about two to six blades thick. It's a really really strong line. Firefighters have put a lot of good work into it. And we want to hold it there.”

Firefighters are conducting prescribed burns along those dozer lines as well when weather permits.

“And what you're doing is you're taking away some of that high fuels long that line,” Ramey said. “As the fire creeps and it moves it's way towards the line, we're taking away that fuel as the weather allows us to.”

And while the fire is burning away from the lake at this point, the smoke is causing some problems for local businesses along the lake.

“The fire has approached some of the shoreline, but in perspective it's a very very small sections of the shoreline,” Shasta Caverns general manager Matt Doyle said. “The largest impact that we have right now is the smoke.”

Doyle says there’s also been some confusion as to where the fire is actually burning.

“We're leading right up to Labor Day weekend,” Doyle said. “It's the last big holiday weekend for summer right here on Shasta Lake. If people continuously think that we have smoke up here, the lake is engulfed with flames and all the resorts are closed, that is going to have a huge economic impact for entire Northern California.”

Doyle says before the Carr and Hirz fires, they were on track to have one of their busiest years ever, but now they’re actually 75 percent down where they were at this time last year.

And even though the smoke is a problem for now, firefighters estimate the fire to be 100 percent contained by September 1 just in time for the Labor Day weekend.

“It is concerning,” Ramey said. “But that's why getting the word out there that this is a controlled burn and it's doing what we want and there's good progress. The firefighters are doing some excellent work out there.”

For latest information on Hirz Fire acreage and containment, click here. 

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Light winds and bad air quality will continue this week
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