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Latest Fire Information

Fire Acres % Contained Cost Total Personnel
Rich 6,112 95% $9,986,000 695
Canyon 37,831 97% * $44,399,311 69

Expected containment date for the Canyon Complex is August 14, 2008.

News & Events for the Rich Fire and Canyon Complex:

• Pacific Northwest Team 2 (Chris Hoff) extends our thanks to the community, the Plumas National Forest and the many agencies we worked closely with for your support during the suppression efforts associated with the Rich Fire.
• The Minnesota Team (Gene Mannelin) has been in transition with PNW Team 2 and will assume command of the Rich Fire and the Canyon Complex on Sunday, August 10, 2008 at 6:00 a.m.
• The Rich Fire is expected to be contained by this evening.
• Fire equipment continues to operate along highway 70; flaggers are currently being utilized to assist with traffic control and motorists are urged to use caution in the Rich bar vicinity.
• A white water release will occur today in the Feather River Canyon. From 11 am -5 pm, expect
additional traffic and vehicles parked on the road shoulder along Hwy 70 between Rock Creek and Cresta Reservoir (8-mile stretch) and also east of Rock Creek on the Highway 70 corridor.
• A young bear has been caught stealing lunches from some of the water tender personnel. It’s a good reminder to refrain from feeding wildlife for their own health & safety. Please keep the wildlife wild!
• Heavy demobilization of excess resources is occurring today.
• Caribou Road (Forest Service road 27N26) remains closed from the intersection of Highway 70 to Butt Lake.

RICH FIRE STATUS: Firefighters continue to make good progress with mop up efforts on the 6112-acre Rich Fire.

Yesterday: Yesterday’s strong winds created a moderate increase in fire activity, causing some interior areas of unburned fuel to flair up, but all were well within the fire perimeter. Engines will provide initial attack for any new wild land fire starts.

Today’s operations: Crews and equipment will continue with mop up efforts on all sides of the fire, working to achieve a mop up standard that extends 300’ into the fire area from the fire line. Rehabilitation work on fire lines and roads continues at a good pace.

CANYON COMPLEX STATUS: The potential for high fire behavior still exists within the Canyon Complex with re-burn potential low to moderate. Moderate fire behavior continues to be observed in isolated areas of interior unburned pockets with moderate to high reburn potential; the expectation is to see occasional columns
of smoke. Overall, fire behavior is currently low, with the fire backing downhill, smoldering and creeping.

Crews will continue with rehabilitation, mop up, culvert replacement, pulling hose and patrol efforts today. Rehab is 95% completed on the North Branch and 85% complete on the South Branch. Rehab efforts will intensify today.

Belden Fire: The Belden Fire continues to be monitored by air. Fire activity is currently non-existent with the exception of one smoldering log.

INITIAL ATTACK ACTIVITY: The Bullard Fire at 18 acres and the Garden Fire at 11 acres were 100% contained and mopped up yesterday.

Mandatory & Voluntary Evacuations (Rich Fire): Mandatory evacuations for the Feather River Canyon area of Rush Creek Road (Brush Creek, Virgilia/Twelve Mile Bar) are lifted, with restrictions. Only residents with proper identification are allowed access. All other voluntary and precautionary evacuation orders have been lifted with no restrictions, including Hwy 70 from Rock Creek Dam to Rich Bar, Hwy 70 from Virgilia to Woody’s Hot Springs, Seneca and the South portion of Butt Lake.

• Hwy 70 and Caribou Road Status and Forest Closures: Highway 70 been has re-opened to public access. The Caribou Road (FS road 27N26) is closed. Fire equipment continues to operate in this area and motorist are urged to use caution in this vicinity. Three emergency closure areas on the Plumas National Forest were signed into effect on July 31 by Forest Supervisor Alice Carlton, also for public safety purposes. The Pacific Crest Trail and Bucks Lake Trail are impacted by this closure order. Go to www.fs.fed.us/r5/plumas/ for more information Order No. 08-08 (Rich Fire) or forest closure Order No. 07-08 (Canyon Complex). The closures remain in effect at this time.

FIRE FACTS:
RICH Fire: Started: July 29, 2008; Cause: Under investigation; Location: 20 miles West of Quincy, CA; Resources: 11 hand crews, 3 helicopters, 29 engines, 3 dozers, 26 water tenders, 695 total personnel.


CANYON COMPLEX: Started: June 21, 2008; Cause: Lightning; Location: Feather River, Mount Hough and Beckwourth Ranger Districts; Resources: 1 helicopter, 1 engine, 8 water tenders, 69 total personnel.

SAFETY CONCERNS: Numerous historic mining sites, firefighter fatigue and steep, rocky terrain with numerous standing dead trees (snags) and rolling material, long travel times to fire, unburned interior fuels.

RESOURCE CONCERNS: Protection of wilderness values, water quality in wild and scenic rivers, sensitive species habitat and scenic/road less areas by utilizing minimum disturbance practices.

VALUES AT RISK:
Rich Fire: Interior power lines from Caribou to Quincy along Highway 70.
Canyon Complex: Red-legged frog habitat, falcon/eagle nest sites, high value timber and archaeological sites.

WEATHER: Mostly Sunny. Temperatures will be a little cooler and humidities a little higher today; below 4000 ft: 84-91F; above 4000 ft: 76-84F. Humidity’s below 4000 ft: 14-22%; above 4000 ft: 20-30%. Ridge top winds NE to E 4-8 mph becoming S to SW 8-14 mph by afternoon with gusts to around 25 mph. Downslope/downvalley winds 4-8 mph becoming upslope/upvalley 8-14 mph with gusts to 25 mph this afternoon. For Sunday, mostly sunny and slightly warmer and dryer. Extended forecast Monday through Wednesday is for mostly clear skies with steady temperatures and humidity’s.

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