New lightning fires challenge firefighters

Feather Publishing

Plumas National Forest firefighters responded to a new fire several miles west of Bucks Lake on Saturday afternoon. The fire was in steep terrain and reported to have a "moderate rate of spread". Radio traffic indicated there was some difficulty in getting the air support needed to suppress the fire. No information on the fire is available yet this morning.

Cal Fire responded to a fast moving wildfire, the Ponderosa Fire, two miles east of the community of Manton in Tehema County. The fire exhibited extreme fire behavior with crowning and long-range spotting. Numerous structures, natural gas lines and power lines are threatened. Evacuations and road closures in effect. Four structures have been destroyed.

Read more: New lightning fires challenge firefighters


Chips Fire 8/18/2012 update

Feather Publishing
8:00 p.m. update
Chips Fire is now 44,793 acres and 38% contained.

Fire Status: Wind increased fire activity, causing multiple spot fires in the Clear Creek drainage to the east of and parallel to Butt Valley Reservoir this afternoon. The fire made a run to the east, burning 450 acres. Firefighters continued to build fireline along the east flank of the fire with air support from one air tanker and four helicopters. On the west perimeter, crews picked up three spot fires, while lines were reinforced and mop-up continued in other sectors of the fire.

PG&E representatives continue to work closely with the fire management team, and are prepared to de-energize transmission lines as needed for firefighting efforts.

Tonight's Actions: Fire activity moderated early this evening. This will enable firefighters to continue to construct line on the east side of the fire to keep it from moving northeast. Patrol will continue along completed firelines for spot fires.

Read more: Chips Fire 8/18/2012 update


Reading Fire 8/18/2012 update

Feather Publishing
8:00 p.m. update
The Reading Fire is now 27,814 acres and 51% contained

A public meeting was held this evening at the Old Station volunteer fire department hall.

The Reading Fire is now at 51% containment. When referring to a fire, the difference between a fire being contained or controlled can be unclear. 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 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. Therefore, just because a line is contained does not mean that the fire is controlled.

Tonight crews will hold, patrol and mop up from Hat Lake to the Fantastic Lava Beds following MIST tactics on all divisions in the park. On the eastern perimeter crews will complete direct line and prepare for firing operations. Crews are positioned for initial attack response in the Lassen National Volcanic Park.

Read more: Reading Fire 8/18/2012 update


Almanor Red Cross on standby

M. Kate West
Staff Writer
4:00 p.m.

“The Almanor Branch of the American Red Cross is officially on two-hour standby to open a shelter in the Chester Memorial Hall,” lead volunteer Linda White said at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 17.

The emergency trailer containing water, cots, bedding and comfort kits for 100 people has already been moved to the facility, which is located on the corner of Stone and Gay streets, one block off Main Street in Old Town Chester.

Read more: Almanor Red Cross on standby


Chips Fire 8/17/2012 update

Feather Publishing
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.

Read more: Chips Fire 8/17/2012 update


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