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Chips Fire 8/17/2012 update

Feather Publishing
8/17/2012
9:00 p.m. update

Favorable weather conditions enabled firefighters to make good progress today, increasing containment lines from 20% to 34%. In mid-afternoon, the smoke cleared enough, and three Type 1 helicopters dropped water to support crews on the ground, particularly in the Caribou Road area.

In the Clear Creek drainage near Butt Lake Reservoir dam, crews and dozers have started building a new containment line on the east flank of the fire. The goal is to keep the fire away from Seneca, Canyondam, and the Big Meadows subdivision.

The containment line from Yellow Creek Campground to the west shore of Butt Lake Reservoir is complete.

Firefighters conducted direct attack on a 15 acre spot fire in the Red Hill area on the southeast perimeter of the fire.

On the west perimeter, crews continue to build containment lines along the fires edge, working to the south.

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:

Monsoonal moisture will bring a slight chance of thunderstorms through Saturday morning. Storms may cause erratic winds, heavy rains, and lightning.

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.main.

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/.

Power Outages:

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

Evacuations and Closures:

Mandatory Evacuations - The community of Seneca remains under a mandatory 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 Rush Creek, Canyondam, and Big Meadows. 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).

11:50 a.m. update

The Lake Almanor West Community Park, 177 Lake Almanor West Drive, Lake Almanor, will be the location for a public meeting discussing the Chips Fire at 6 PM tonight, Friday, August 17, 2012.

 

11:00 a.m. update

A small fire reported after 10 a.m. in the Feather River Canyon near the Serpentine Canyon area just east of Rich Bar was hit hard by helicopter water drops. It's being reported as less than one quarter of an acre and a handline has been established around the fire. Fire engines that are not already on scene are being canceled and returning to the Chips Fire.


9:00 a.m. update
Chips Fire now 47,436 acres; 20% contained

Today's Update:

The fire in Clear Creek drainage southeast of Butt Valley Reservoir did not move overnight. Crews moved into the area, but were unable to establish control lines because of unsafe conditions.

Handline, dozer lines, and hose lays held on Red Hill last night.

Crews completed the burning operation from Yellow Creek Campground to Butt Valley Reservoir. The line is holding well and firefighters have begun extinguishing hot spots inside the line. Fireline along the Humbug Road on the north perimeter remains secure.

Large boulders and debris continued to roll down on to Caribou Road last night, forcing a closure of the road.

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:

A monsoonal weather pattern is forecast for this afternoon and evening, increasing the potential for afternoon and overnight thunderstorms. Developed storms may produce brief heavy rain, gusty and erratic wind, and lightning.

Weather conditions increase the likelihood of significant fire activity.

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/.

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/.

Power Outages:

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

Evacuations and Closures:

Mandatory Evacuations - The community of Seneca remains under a mandatory 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 Rush Creek, Canyondam, and Big Meadows. 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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