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Chips Fire 8/16/2012 update

Feather Publishing
8/16/2012

9:25 p.m. update

InciWeb notes: Firefighters continued to hold the fire south of the Humbug Road in the Grizzly Campground area. Crews also made significant progress burning from Yellow Creek Campground to Butt Valley Reservoir.

This afternoon the spot fire below Butt Valley Reservoir Dam spread northeast into the Clear Creek Drainage. Firefighters observed very active fire behavior. Helicopters dropped water and fire retardant gel to slow the rate of spread.

At Red Hill, crews continued to patrol for and suppress spot fires.

Firefighters continued to patrol and hold the fire west of the Caribou Road. Crews will also continue to attack persistent spot fires near the telecommunications towers on Red Hill.

The 940 structures that are considered threatened are in the following communities: Lake Almanor West, Almanor, Prattville, the Big Meadows subdivision, Canyondam, Belden, Rush Creek, and Seneca, and structures along Caribou Road. Residents in these areas will continue to see CalFire and Office of Emergency Services engines from various city fire departments moving through neighborhoods as they plan structure protection tactics. Bulldozers and other heavy equipment will continue building and improving contingency lines running southeast from Seneca Road.

PG&E representatives are working closely with the fire management team, and are prepared to de-energize transmission lines as needed for firefighting efforts, including the use of aircraft.

9:00 p.m. update

According to the ONCC Predictive Services News and Notes at 1955 hours today, the Chips Fire is now at 43,746 acres, and listed at 20% contained. There was active fire behavior today with spread generated by prevailing and terrain driven winds. The fire has spread to the Clear Creek and Ohio Valley area east of the Butt Lake Reservoir. Resources completed a successful burning operation from the 1510 road east to the Butt Lake Reservoir in the north portion of the fire. The one acre spot fire that occurred in the Caribou Road area of Division X was extinguished and lined. Numerous structures in the Seneca community have been prepped. Initial attack responsibilities remain in effect in the delegated areas of the Chips Fire.

3:55 p.m. update

Fire becoming active in the Butt Valley Reservoir Dam area below Seneca.

Modis08-16-2012_1900hours

Modis Fire Detection map from Thursday afternoon showing Chips, Mill, Reading and Rush Fires in Plumas and Lassen area.

 

3:00 p.m. update

Person injured after dozer transport overturns on Chips Fire

Dan McDonald
Staff Writer

According to information from the Plumas County Sheriff dispatch center and the Forest Service, there was an injury accident on the Chips Fire Thursday afternoon.

A dozer transport vehicle overturned near Humbug Road.

According to the 911 call, one person suffered a head injury in the accident that occurred just before 1 p.m.

A Plumas District Hospital ambulance responded with a fire engine escort, according to the 911 log.

The California Highway Patrol and Quincy Tow also responded. Quincy Tow was advised to send a “heavy-duty” transport. The CHP was conducting the accident investigation.

The identity of the injured person and severity of the injury were unknown.

This report will be updated as information becomes available.


10:00 a.m. update


Chips Fire now 42,949 acres and 20% contained

Click here to see the most recent Chips Fire map

(New today)

Sheriff's Mandatory Evacuation for Rush Creek has been downgraded to a Voluntary Evacuation. Cal Trans was able to clear the roll out debris along the Caribou Rd. Firefighters continue to improve and prepare the containment line from the 1510 Road east to the Butt Lake Reservoir for planned firing operation. Crews completed the hand line around the slop over in Red Hill and continue to mop up and patrol. Strike teams of engines continue to provide structure protection and preparation in the communities of Seneca and the Highway 89 corridor.

Overnight, firefighters continued to hold the fire south of the Humbug Road in the Grizzly Campground area. Crews also made significant progress burning from Yellow Creek Campground to Butt Valley Reservoir.

The spot fire below the Butt Valley Reservoir Dam continued to burn overnight. It remains a significant concern and crews and supervisors continue to scout and plan suppression tactics in the area between Butt Valley Reservoir Dam and Seneca.

Despite lingering smoke yesterday afternoon, helicopter pilots were still able to fly six hours of missions dropping water on various areas of the fire. With smoke expected to clear earlier in the day, air operations anticipate additional opportunities today.

After CalTrans crews cleared rocks and debris from Caribou Road yesterday morning, firefighters kept the fire west of the road overnight. This project will continue today. Firefighters will also continue to attack persistent spot fires near the telecommunications towers on Red Hill.

The 940 structures that are considered threatened are in the following communities: Lake Almanor West, Almanor, Prattville, the Big Meadows subdivision, Canyondam, Belden, Rush Creek, and Seneca, and structures along Caribou Road. Residents in these areas will continue to see CalFire and Office of Emergency Services engines from various city fire departments moving through neighborhoods as they plan structure protection tactics. Bulldozers and other heavy equipment will continue building and improving contingency lines running southeast from Seneca Road.

PG&E representatives are working closely with the fire management team, and are prepared to de-energize transmission lines as needed for firefighting efforts, including the use of aircraft.

Fire Behavior and Smoke:

Clear skies brought cooler temperatures overnight, resulting in heavy smoke in the canyons this morning. As the inversion lifts, firefighters will be looking for the earliest possible launch times for helicopter bucket drops. Fire behavior will be moderate in the morning and increasing as the inversion lifts. Prevailing winds out of the southwest will return in the afternoon.

Public Safety:

Motorists are encouraged to use caution on roads within the vicinity of the fire, particularly on Highway 70 and Highway 89 due to increased fire traffic. Travelers should check highway conditions regularly at 800-427-ROAD or http://www.dot.ca.gov/.

Smoke will continue to pose health concerns for the public. Residents are encouraged to visit the "Protect Yourself from Smoke" website for smoke protection information at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/.

Local air quality conditions and forecasts are available at http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_state

For tips on how to prepare for a potential evacuation and what to do if you are evacuated, residents in and near evacuation areas are encouraged to visit the "Ready, Set, Go" website at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/article/3052/15480/.

To report and get updateson power outages please call PG&E's 24-hour emergency and customer service line: 1-800-743-5002.

Mandatory Evacuations - The community of Seneca remain under a mandatory evacuation. Rush Creek has been down graded from a mandatory to a voluntary evacuation. The Caribou Road from the junction of Highway 70 to Butt Lake Dam as well the Butt Lake Dam, Ohio Valley Road, Butt Lake Road, Humbug/Humboldt and all additional secondary roads West of Highway 89 between Canyondam and the Humbug/Humboldt Road are under a "Hard Closure". Additional evacuations may be necessary depending on fire activity.

To register a cell phone with the Plumas County Emergency Notification System visit http://countyofplumas.com/index.aspx nid=2163.

Sheriff's Voluntary Evacuations are now in place for Canyondam, Big Meadows and Rush Creek.. The Sheriff's Advisement for other communities along Highway 89 including Prattville, Almanor, and West Almanor and East Shore Residence (Hwy 147) remains in effect. Residents between Tobin and Twain on Highway 70 are under a Sheriff's Advisement to develop a family evacuation plan. This area includes Belden, Maggie's Trailer Park, and Little Haven. Planning to provide shelter arrangements for local residents will be based on the locations and extent of any new mandatory evacuations issued by the Sheriff's Office.

Butt Valley Reservoir recreation facilities administered by PG&E (Ponderosa Flat Campground, Cool Springs Campground, Ray Adams Day Use Area and Boat Launch, as well as Yellow Creek Campground) are closed due to the fire. Gansner Bar, North Fork, and Queen Lily USFS campgrounds remain closed. The Little Grizzly dispersed camping area and High Lakes OHV area, are also closed.

Communities west of the fire area including Paradise, Jarbo Gap, and Concow are not threatened at this time.

In the interest of firefighter and public safety, the Plumas and Lassen National Forests have expanded the original closure areas due to the fire's growth. The closures will remain in place until the area is safe for the public to enter. Please see the Forest Orders and closure maps on InciWeb (address above). Pacific Crest Trail hikers may bypass the affected area by hiking Highway 70/89 or catching a bus with Plumas Transit to Chester, CA (weekdays only).

 

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