Firefighters gain the upper hand on the Panther Fire

The 6,864 acre Panther Fire is now 60% contained in Tehama County. The map also shows the 75 acre Cedar Fire burning a few miles south of Butte Meadows in Butte County.

Michael Condon
Staff Writer
Updated 5/6/2013




Smoke from the Panther Fire in Tehama County is drifting in the Almanor Basin and other areas of Plumas and Lassen Counties. The Panther Fire started Wednesday morning and by Friday morning had grown to over 6,400 acres.

CalFire and the Forest Service are battling the blaze with 81 fire engines and 14 dozers, 7 helicopters and 16 handcrews. Handcrews will be key in this effort since much of the area the fire is burning in is too steep and rugged for fire engines and even dozers. The fire is only 10 percent contained.

No structures are threatened. The fire started on private timberland. It continues to burn commercial forestland and is also actively burning in the Ishi Wilderness Area. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Cal Fire reports uncharacteristically aggressive fire behavior as the result of the record dry late winter and spring. The Panther Fire is one of over 100 fires fanned by strong winds in California this week. Cal Fire is working on another fire just south of Butte Meadows. That fire, called the Cedar Fire, is 75% contained.

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