Red Flag warning issued on Gibralter Ridge Fire

Weather conditions in north Lincoln County prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag warning for the Gibralter Ridge Fire area.

The warning was announced on the Gibralter Ridge Fire’s Inciweb page.

“Red Flag warnings are issued by the US National Weather Service as a prediction that conditions will be highly conducive for wildfire growth,” the announcement read. “These Red Flag warnings are used to notify firefighters, land managers, and the public of critical fire weather conditions. To prepare for these conditions, firefighters are staging equipment, strengthening fire lines, and monitoring for expected changes in weather. As winds increase and change directions, conditions can become more challenging for firefighters which may force them to periodically disengage from the fire until conditions are safer. As conditions improve, firefighters will reengage the fire and continue working.”

The Gibralter Ridge Fire was caused by lightning strikes during the evening hours of Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. During the course of the week the fire spread rapidly, and has been characterized as  “Extreme fire behavior with long-range spotting, group torching, and running ,” by fire managers.

Lincoln County Sheriff Roby Bowe said 30 homes were evacuated last week, with another 140 in pre-evacuation status. Residents were able to temporarily return to check conditions and collect belongings twice last week.

Fire managers said the current plan is to continue critical structure protection and to continue to construct containment lines with available resources.