UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: The fire is now 75 percent contained and the fire size estimate has been reduced from 30 acres to 10 acres, according to U.S. Forest Service Public Information Officer Peggi Lawrence. No structures are threatened and crews are expected to remain on scene until tomorrow. Lawrence said.
UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: State Route 96 is not expected to reopen until tomorrow afternoon due to unsafe conditions, according to CalTrans Public Information Officer Phil Frisbie Jr.
"The issue is that it's very steep terrain in there," he said. "As the fire crews are dumping water, it's causing debris to fall down on to the highway. It's not going to be safe to open it up until the fire next to the highway is out. There may be some damaged trees that need to be removed before we can open it. We will get the highway reopened as quickly as we can."
PREVIOUSLY: U.S. Forest Service and CalFire firefighters are currently battling a nearly 30-acre wildfire near the Hoopa and Willow Creek area, causing part of State Route 96 to be closed off, according to the Hoopa Valley Fire Department.
The fire, called the Sugarbowl Fire, is located south of the Hoopa Reservation and was first reported at 3:50 a.m. this morning. It has burned anywhere from 25 to 30 acres of brush, grass, snags and hardwood like oak as of 8 a.m., but no structures are threatened, according to the U.S. Forest Service Public Information Officer Peggi Lawrence. The fire is located near the lower Trinity ranger district of the Six Rivers National Forest, just north of the Sugar Bowl Ranch.
Six engines, three crews, two water tenders from the U.S. Forest Service and one CalFire helicopter from Kneeland are currently fighting the fire.
"We have other resources on order. More crews, timber fallers and a larger helicopter coming from Weed," Lawrence said. "A larger helicopter has more water capacity. The terrain is steep and rocky. We have safety concerns for the firefighters. We do have a hose line that goes up to the top of the ridge, so we were able to accomplish that."
State Route 96 is currently closed between Hoopa and Willow Creek, according to Lawrence, but said it may open to one-way traffic.
There is no current containment estimate.