Some residents evacuated from their homes by the Helena Fire are being allowed to return. The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that residents from south of Highway 299 would be allowed to return. The Helena Fire, which started last Wednesday, is being managed along with the Fork Fire just to the north in the Trinity Alps Wilderness for a combined acreage of 20,300 acres. Improved weather conditions allowed crews to increase containment Thursday to 40%. 72 homes have been destroyed, along with 61 outbuildings. The firefight is under the joint command of the Forest Service and Cal-Fire.
Highway 299 openings will follow the same schedule as Thursday, with one-way piloted passage through the fire zone at 5:30AM, 9AM, 2PM, 5:30PM and 9:30PM. The CHP will only allow vehicles that are already lined up, but drivers are advised not to get there more than 15 or 20 minutes ahead of time.