72 homes have been destroyed by the Helena Fire, along with 61 outbuildings, according to the Forest Service. The fire started near the Trinity County ghost town of Helena last Wednesday afternoon. It’s burning on both sides of the Trinity River and both sides of Highway 299. It’s also crossed into the Trinity Alps Wilderness. The Forest Service says their top priority is keeping the fire north of Junction City and away from Weaverville. Around 2000 people have been evacuated from homes between Helena and the Oregon Mountain Summit, including all of Junction City and the Canyon Creeks area. The fire has burned more than 11,000 acres with just 14% containment. Almost 1500 people are battling the blaze. A daytime fire information line is available at 628-0039. Homeowners can inquire about their properties with the sheriff’s office at 623-8103.
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has helped Trinity County establish an assistance center to provide a variety of information and help to Helena Fire victims at one location. Representatives of various state and local agencies, as well as non-profit and volunteer organizations, are waiting there to provide help Tuesday from Noon to 7PM and Wednesday 8AM to 7PM. The assistance center is at the Mountain Chapel Church on Oak Ridge Road in Weaverville.