Officials say Chips Fire is on its last breath

Samantha P. Hawthorne
Staff Writer


In a pair of public meetings, fire officials said they were getting the upper hand on the Chips Fire.

A meeting to discuss the Chips Fire was held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Lake Almanor West Community Park.

“Chips Fire has gotten a lot of attention. It was the first fire to take off and is certainly not the last. It looks like it is going to be a very challenging year for us,” said Lawrence Crabtree, Deputy Plumas National Forest Supervisor.

Read more: Officials say Chips Fire is on its last breath


Ponderosa Fire 8/23/2012 update

Feather Publishing

The Ponderosa Fire is now 27,978 acres and 57% contained. The fire continued to burn in the Battle Creek and Panther Creek areas with some burning in the Blue Ridge area over the evening. The fire is approximately 2.25 miles west of A line road. Due to the concern that the fire may burn out of the Panther Creek area to the northeast, the contingency line to the east of the fire continues to be strengthened.

Read more: Ponderosa Fire 8/23/2012 update


Reading Fire 8/22/2012 update

Feather Publishing note: Since the Reading Fire is 100% contained, we will discontinue coverage after this article unless there is a change in the current status.

Reading Fire Information Update
Lassen Volcanic National Park and Lassen National Forest

August 22, 2012 - 9:00 am

Current Situation: The Reading Fire is 100% contained.  When referring to a wildland fire, the difference between a fire being contained or controlled is that when a fire is contained, a fuel break had been completed around the fire manually by hand line and/or mechanically by dozer line. These fire breaks may also include the use of natural barriers such as rocky outcroppings. When a fire has been controlled, the fireline is secure enough so that flare-ups within the fire perimeter will not break through the line.  A fire referred to as contained does not mean that the fire is controlled.

Read more: Reading Fire 8/22/2012 update


Ponderosa Fire 8/22/2012

Feather Publishing

The Ponderosa Fire is getting closer to Plumas County as it is spreading to the southeast and affecting many of our neighbors so we have begun online coverage of this fire as well.

The Ponderosa Fire is listed at 24,323 acres and is 50% contained.

50 structures have been destroyed.

Highway 44 will be opened today.

A hard closure remains on Forward Road at Manton Corners and Wilson Hill Road at Digger Creek.

Evacuation warnings have been issued for Highway 36 from Ponderosa Sky Ranch to Lassen Lodge and Mineral communities.

Evacuations for the following areas in Manton, Shingletown & Viola:
  • Canyon View Loop north of Hwy 36.
  • Forward Rd at Graham to the C Line
  • Forward Mill Rd from Rock Creek Rd to Forward Camp Rd
  • Rock Creek Rd from Manton Rd to Long Hay Flat Rd
  • All of Long Hay Flat Rd and Woodcutter Way
  • Southside of Highway 44 from Viola to Brush Oak
  • Northside of Hwy 44 from Viola to Alward
  • Hazen Rd area and South Power House Rd south of Manton
  • Hwy 44 at Brush Oak east to and including Viola, Plateau Pines, Starlight Pines and Lake McCumber area
  • South side of Hwy 44 from Viola to Brush Oak and on the north side of Hwy 44 from Viola to Alward.

    Evacuation warnings have been issued for Hwy 36 from Ponderosa Sky Ranch to Lassen Lodge communities.

  • Come back to our Wildfire page for futher updates...

    For more information click go to the Calfire Ponderosa link.


    Chips Fire 8/21/2012 update

    Feather Publishing
    9:00 P.M. Update

    62,541 acres with 37% containment. 1,174 personnel

    Fire Status: As expected, winds today became stronger, averaging twelve to thirteen miles per hour across the fire area, with 24 mile per hour gusts. This resulted in increased fire activity particularly to the east of Butt Valley Reservoir. Large amounts of interior fuels burned, with wind funneling the fire up the North Fork Feather River towards the spillway at Canyon Dam. Several spot fires occurred outside the fire perimeter, across Highway 89. All observed spot fires were contained. Crews and engines will continue to patrol the area tonight, particularly the communities of Canyon Dam, the Big Meadows area, and Prattville, as well as throughout the Seneca area to watch for and extinguish additional spot fires.

    Firing operations that were accomplished the past two nights contributed significantly to stopping the fire's spread across Highway 89 and into the Canyon Dam area today. Removing ground fuels at night, under favorable conditions, provided for a reduction of fire behavior when winds materialized today.

    Tomorrow, winds are expected to minimize as a dry air mass moves into the area.

    In the Red Hill area, the fire became active again today, limiting the extent of planned burnout activities. Minimal firing was conducted, however, in an effort to prevent the fire from moving towards the Red Hill Communications Site.

    Along the west flank of the fire, hotshot crews continue to slowly and methodically build fire line directly along the fire's edge, working from north to south towards the Chips Creek drainage. A Wildland Fire Module, which is a specialized crew of ten people trained to work self-sufficiently in the back country for extended periods, was inserted into the south-west area of the fire today. This crew will camp near Morris Lake, and seek opportunities to construct fire line into the Chips Creek drainage working from south to north. A second Wildland Fire Module is expected to arrive tomorrow, and will join the crew currently on-site. Also, infra-red mapping will be conducted tomorrow on this portion of the fire to pin-point hot spots for the crew to focus on extinguishing.

    Evacuations and Closures: Per the Plumas County Sheriff's Department, Mandatory Evacuations are in place for the communities of Prattville, Canyon Dam and the Big Meadows area. A Voluntary Evacuation is in place for Almanor. An Advisory is in effect to all West Almanor and East Shore residents (Hwy. 147) advising of the potential threat of the fire to the areas. An evacuation Center is located at the Chester Memorial Hall on Gay Street. Highway 147 was closed earlier today, however, it has been re-opened to all traffic. Highway 89 from Butt Lake Road to 4.3 miles north of Greenville is closed to all traffic due to heavy smoke and a large amount of emergency equipment on the roadway. For more information, please go to: http://www.countyofplumas.com/DocumentCenter/View/8785

    Community Meetings: A community meeting will be held tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Lake Almanor West Community Park, 177 Lake Almanor West Drive, Lake Almanor West, CA 96020.

    4:45 p.m. update

    Highway 89 remains closed to all traffic from Butt Valley Road on the north to 4.3 miles north of Greenville on the south. This road closure is due to heavy smoke limiting visibility and as well as a large amount of emergency equipment moving along the roadway. Please continue to check for updates, as conditions are subject to change.

    HIghway 147 is open as of 8 p.m. tonight.

    Update: Highway 36 opened sometime during the night of August 21.... It was closed from Paynes Creek Post Office to 2.2 miles west of Mineral due to a wildland fire. Mineral residents were allowed access driving home from the Chester area through the roadblock at the junction of Highway 36 and Highway 32.

    1:45 p.m. update

    Chips Fire now 52,738 acres
    Click here to see the most current Chips Fire map


    10:00 a.m. update

    Another successful burnout operation was executed last night along the eastern border of Butt Valley Reservoir. This completes a half circle burnout around the active northeast section of the fire in preparation for today's weather which includes strong, gusty winds out of the southwest.

    Burnouts from Sunday night have progressed up to two miles into the fire area, meeting objectives to reduce and remove unburned fuels between the head of the fire and neighboring communities. As afternoon winds pick up, firefighters will deepen and reinforce control lines along Highway 89. Engines will also patrol the communities of Prattville, Canyon Dam and Big Meadows to watch for fallout from burning material. Efforts will continue throughout the day to strength control lines from the north end of Butt Valley Reservoir to the burnout line in the Prattville area.

    While line construction and mop-up continue from Belden up to Caribou, a small area around Red Hill continues to be an issue for firefighters who will patrol the control line and watch for spot fires.

    Read more: Chips Fire 8/21/2012 update


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