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Chips Fire 8/23/2012 update

Feather Publishing
8/23/2012
8:00p.m. update

Numerous air resources were utilized on the fire today including a DC-10 and five Type 1 helicopters dropping approximately 25,830 gallons of retardant on the eastern flank of the fire. These operations helped firefighters prepare for a burnout that will be executed tonight if favorable weather conditions hold. The burnout will secure and strengthen the eastern flank of the fire line around Rattlesnake Peak to the bottom of the North Fork of the Feather River near Seneca.

Helicopter drops will continue into the evening as firefighters prepare for the firing operation. Crews will continue to mop-up fire lines along Highway 89. Patrol units will also stay in the communities of Prattville, Big Meadows and Canyon Dam areas searching for any additional spot fires.

Firefighters continue to work in a contained slop-over in the Rocky Point area. Power was returned to the PG&E line that services homes along the southwestern shore of Lake Almanor this morning after falling operations around the line were completed.

Afternoon winds gusts hit the fire line and produced spots in several areas of the fire including Red Hill. This has been a difficult section for firefighters to attack because of its steep, rocky terrain. Crews will be working on the spot that is within contingency lines through the night containing and mopping up the area.

Along the northern edge of the fire near Humbug, night crews will work on small spots that took hold during the afternoon wind event, while continuing patrols on the fire perimeter. The western flank of the fire around the Chips Creek drainage continues to produce heat and creep west as crews of hot shots work to construct hand line in an effort to prevent further movement. Because of the topography of the area, infra-red mapping will also be utilized to identify hot spots on the ground.

Evacuations and Closures: The Plumas County Sheriff's Department updated closure notices for the area in and around the fire today. Mandatory Evacuations continue to be enforced for the communities of Canyon Dam and the Big Meadows area. A Voluntary Evacuation is in place for Rush Creek, and an Advisory is in effect for Prattville residents for the potential threat of the fire to the area.

An evacuation Center continues to be available at the Chester Memorial Hall on Gay Street. For more information, please go to: http://www.countyofplumas.com/CivicAlerts.aspx AID=536

4:30 p.m. update
Community meeting tonight
A community meeting will be held tonight at 6:00 p.m. at the Hamilton Branch Fire Station, 3791 Big Springs Road, Westwood, CA 96137. Tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 p.m. an additional community meeting will be held at the Twain Community Park, 130 Twain Store Road, Twain, Ca.

10:00 a.m. update
Sheriff's Office reduces evacuation orders

On 8/23/12 the Sheriff’s Office is lifting the Sheriff’s Advisement for Lake Almanor West and Almanor. The Mandatory Evacuation for Prattville has been lifted to Sheriff’s Advisement. The Chips Fire is still burning South West of Big Meadows and Canyon Dam and fire suppression efforts are still under way. The Mandatory Evacuation is still in effect for both Big Meadows and Canyon Dam. The Voluntary Evacuation for the Rush Creek is also still in effect. Stay tuned to media advisements and monitor the Plumas County website for updated information. For Evacuation Center information call (530) 283-3593.

9:00 a.m. update

The Chips Fire is 63,147 acres and 40% contained.

With gusty southwest winds predicted for this afternoon, Operations Section Chief, Rob Laeng instructed firefighters at the morning briefing, "Today's mission is clear-hold, hold, hold."

Rocky_Point
Flames are visible on Rocky Point Tuesday evening. Photo by Jan Davies

Gusts from 15-25 miles per hour are expected on the fire this afternoon which will increase fire activity on the interior of the burn area. Throughout the day, firefighters will be on the perimeter of the fire patrolling for spots and continuing mop-up operations. Mop-up is a critical component of securing fire lines by ensuring that hot spots inside the perimeter are extinguished.

Firefighters will be patrolling the Prattville, Big Meadows and Canyon Dam areas throughout the day as well as continuing to mop-up operations. Crews also continue to work in a contained slop-over point around the Rocky Point area. In advance of firefighters falling trees in the area, last night PG&E de-energized the power line that serves Lake Almanor West, Almanor, Prattville, Big Meadows, and Canyon Dam. This action will allow firefighters to work around power lines safely and efficiently. Power will be re-energized to the lines when work is completed in the area.

Night crews worked on burnout operations in the Red Hill and Rattlesnake Peak areas and along the fire line. These burnouts were not completed due to unfavorable weather conditions necessary to carry fire. However, firefighters will remain on these lines, patrolling throughout the day.

The south-western and western flanks of the fire are staffed by Interagency Hotshot Crews and Wildland Fire Modules working to construct hand line in extremely rugged and steep country. Wildland Fire Modules are specialized crews of ten people trained to work self-sufficiently in the back country for extended periods will work in the Chips Creek drainage until line construction is complete. Infra-red mapping planned for today will aide in the identification of hot spots on the ground so they can be extinguished by crews or aircraft when necessary.

Along the northern flank of the fire, crews continue to mop up into the fire's interior, remove equipment left behind from fire-fighting activities, and begin repair of areas damaged by fire suppression activities. This work will continue throughout the fire area as containment is gained.

Evacuations and Closures: No changes have occurred to evacuations at this time. The Plumas County Sheriff's Department continues to enforce Mandatory Evacuations for the communities of Prattville, Canyon Dam and the Big Meadows area. A Voluntary Evacuation is in place for Almanor, and 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 continues to be available at the Chester Memorial Hall on Gay Street. Highway 89 from Butt Lake Road to 4.3 miles north of Greenville remains closed to all traffic due to heavy smoke and a large amount of emergency equipment on the roadway. Please stay tuned as conditions are subject to change. For more information, please go to: http://www.countyofplumas.com/CivicAlerts.aspx AID=536

Community Meetings: A community meeting will be held tonight at 6:00 p.m. at the Hamilton Branch Fire Station, 3791 Big Springs Road, Westwood, CA 96137.

Additional Fire Information: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3052/ or call (530) 283-3593 and (530) 283-3288 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.


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