The fire is now up to 81,520 acres burned and is 61% contained.
There is a RED FLAG WARNING has been extended through tonight, Friday, July 31 at 8:00 p.m.
Current Situation: The Gillem and Caldwell fires have merged and will now be managed and referred to only as the Caldwell Fire. The Caldwell Fire is now 79,316 acres and 45% contained. Firefighters made progress yesterday on fire control lines and burning operations, especially on the moderately active south and southwest sides of the fire. More smoke was visible yesterday largely due to burning operations by crews to improve control lines. On the north, the fire burned some wetlands around the south edge of Tule Lake, but the fire did not burn farm fields nearby. On the west side of the fire, the 49 road (Lassen Volcanic Scenic Byway) is still holding as a fire break. Control lines are holding on the southeast front of the fire. On the east side, the fire held back along the county 120 road and along control lines around the burn area east of the railroad tracks. Firefighting near the tracks has been assisted by BNSF’s unique fire train, equipped with large water tanks and powerful hoses. Today, crews will continue similar effective work, securing the fire’s edge and reinforcing control lines. Smoke will be visible today due to burning operations and pockets of vegetation burning within the interior of the fire.
Crews completed line construction around the perimeter of the former Gillem fire area yesterday. Firefighters working here plan to strengthen control lines today. Night resources remain on the Caldwell fire, aiding daytime efforts.
Red Flag conditions may lead to increased fire behavior today, and drought stressed fuels are still holding heat for long periods of times. Any new starts could show active fire behavior today.
In order to keep mitigating COVID-19 risks, fire managers have established two new fire camps, allowing personnel to spread out and maintain social distancing recommendations to the best extent possible.
The evacuation order for the Medicine Lake cabins has been lifted and residents may return. Please be cautious of fire apparatus on the roadways.
The Medicine Lake Campground remains closed to the public and continues to be occupied with fire personnel and equipment.
Other recreation opportunities on Modoc National Forest can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/modoc/recreation