Lassen Park fire managers fight 2,000 acre lightning fire

Lassen Park switches to suppression mode on the 2,000 acre Reading Fire.

On July 23, thunderstorms produced numerous lightning strikes within Lassen Volcanic National Park. One of the strikes ignited a fire approximately one mile northeast of Paradise Meadow between the Terrace Lake and Paradise Meadows Trails. This fire, named the Reading Fire, is a naturally ignited wildfire that was being managed for ecosystem health, habitat improvement and wildlife enrichment. The fire crept and smoldered with intermittent areas of open flame and occasional individual and group tree torching until yesterday afternoon when winds picked up and shifted creating several hot spots across the park road.

“Management of lightning-ignited fires enables managers to accomplish resource and ecological benefits within designated wilderness areas of the park,” stated Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz. In consideration of weather forecasts and available resources management of this fire has now been converted to a suppression fire. At this time, the fire is approximately 2000 acres and 5% contained. The NorCal Incident Management Team 1 has arrived and taken command of this fire.



Reading Fire Update

Location: 14 miles of Old Station, CA.

Command: Northern California Interagency Incident Management Team 1 (Whitcome)

Start Date & Report Time: July 23, 2012 at 5:09 PM Cause: Lightning

Acres: 2000 Percent Containment: 5%

Estimated Containment: August 11, 2012

Resources: Hand Crews: 15

Engines: 4

Helicopters: 2

Injuries: 1

Structures Damaged: 0

Estimated Cost-to-Date: $200,000

Total personnel assigned to the incident: 331


Current Situation: The fire continues to spread to the north and east and is nearing the Park boundary. The fire is actively burning and causing spot fires which are challenging firefighters. Highway 89 through the Park is closed at Crags Campground to Summit Lake.


Closures: Park facilities and many trails remain open to the public.


Trail closures include:

  • Paradise Meadow Trail
  • Terrace, Cliff and Shadow Lakes Trail
  • Hat Lake In-holder Road from Hat Lake to northern park boundary
  • Twin and Cluster Lakes Loop Trail
  • Nobles Emigrant Trail from Painted Dunes to the northern park boundary
  • Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from Lower Twin Lake to northern park boundary

Northbound PCT hikers will need to detour at Lower Twin Lake and follow the trail past Rainbow Lake to continue onto Butte Lake. From there hikers will access state highway 44W to Old Station where they can continue northbound on the PCT.


Additional Information:Please contact the park at 530/595-6102, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/lavo, on Twitter@LassenNPS, and on Facebook.


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