SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. – Operations were halted for two hours Friday on the south side of the Smith River Complex after a fuel mix-up that affected over 40 resource engines.
Fire officials discovered the issue Friday afternoon.
Crews said a fuel tender put diesel into gasoline-powered engines and gasoline into diesel-powered engines causing 42 vehicles to break down.
Fire officials said that led to a tactical pause of all south-end operations at 4:06 p.m. to make sure all firefighters were safe in case of an emergency.
The pause lasted two hours until 6 p.m. when the night shift was activated at full force.
Crews said Saturday’s operations have gone according to plan with no limitations.
Fire officials said the damage could have been a lot worse but are thankful for lower fire activity.
“Fortunately, the timing, we weren’t evacuating homes and having a running fire at the time,” Smith River Complex Public Information Officer Bill Morse said. “The fire activity has been down, and we’ve been doing a lot of preparation work towards either direct attack or future planned firing burnout operations. So, if it was going to happen, I guess it was a good time.”
The complex for the most part has held in acreage at under 86-thousand acres.
Containment has grown to 20 percent.
Crews are still trying to take advantage of calmer fire behavior before warmer and dryer weather conditions come in.
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