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Chips Fire 8/12/2012 update

Feather Publishing
8/12/2012
10:00 p.m. update

The Chips Fire made a run to the north today south of the Little Grizzly camping area and was held by crews at the Humbug Road containment line. Crews attempting to improve old containment line from Yellow Creek Camp to Butt Valley Reservoir were force to pull off the line due to increased fire activity late this afternoon. Contingency line north of Humbug road is being improved.

The fire spotted into Digger Creek near Caribou today and made a push north and up-slope away toward the western shore of Butt Lake. The fire has reached the western shore of Butt Lake. Crews working on Red Hill continue to make excellent progress on securing containment lines in this area. The fire remained quiet along Highway 70 where crews continue to patrol and mop-up hot spots.

New contingency lines are being established along Highway 89 and north of Humbug Road as further protection of communities in along the western shore of Lake Almanor. Office of Emergency Service’s engine strike teams are actively working in west Almanor communities to assist residents with making their homes defensible should spot fires occur in the lake shore area.

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

The northeast spread of the fire will continue toward Butt Valley Reservoir during evening ours. Winds will shift after 11 pm to down-canyon winds that will drain down the Feather River into the Sacramento Valley. Temperatures and humidity are expected to be slightly higher this evening.

There was limited traffic control today along Highway 70. Travelers should check Highway 70 conditions regularly (800-427-ROAD / www.dot.ca.gov). Motorists should expect delays and need to anticipate firefighting personnel and apparatus on the road in the vicinity of the fire.

Smoke will continue to pose health concerns for the public. Residents are encouraged to visit the “Protect Yourself from Smoke” website for smoke protection information at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/. Local air quality conditions and forecasts are available at http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.main.

 

Mandatory Evacuations - Rush Creek and the community of Seneca remain under a mandatory evacuation. The Caribou Road from the junction of Highway 70 to Butt Lake Dam is also under mandatory evacuation. Additional evacuations may be necessary depending on fire activity.

Sheriff’s voluntary evacuations are in place for an area south of Highway 89 that includes the Butt Lake Area, Ohio Valley, the Humbug and Humboldt area, and Yellow Creek. Residents between Tobin and Twain on Highway 70 are under a Sheriff’s advisement to begin developing evacuation plans. This area includes Belden, Maggie’s Trailer Park, and Little Haven. Should members of the public require shelter assistance, please call the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office at 530-283-6300. They will coordinate shelter arrangements through the Plumas County Office of Emergency Services.

Butt Valley Reservoir recreation facilities administered by PG&E (Ponderosa Flat Campground, Cool Springs Campground, Ray Adams Day Use Area and Boat Launch, as well as Yellow Creek Campground) are closed due to the fire. Gansner Bar, North Fork, and Queen Lily USFS campgrounds remain closed. The Little Grizzly dispersed camping area and High Lakes OHV area, are also closed.

Communities west of the fire area including Paradise, Jarbo Gap, and Concow are not threatened at this time.

8:00 a.m. update

Fire activity last night was moderate with the fire’s forward movement slowed by higher relative humidity. There were some areas of interior burning, as the fire backed down towards Butt Lake, but the overall size of the fire increased very little. Crews worked through the night to improve lines along Humbug Road and around spot fires on Red Hill.

Today, crews will work to improve primary containment lines that stretch from Yellow Creek Campground to Butt Valley Reservoir, then from the Reservoir south to Highway 70.

Firefighters are prepared to initiate burn-out operations to secure the Humbug Road containment line if conditions allow. New contingency lines are being established along Highway 89 and north of Humbug Road.

PG&E representatives are working closely with the fire management team, and are prepared to de-energize lines as needed for firefighting efforts, including the use of air tankers.

A community meeting will be held at the Canyon Dam Market this evening at 6pm. Fire management officials will provide an update on the fire and be available to answer questions.

The northeast spread of the fire will continue toward Butt Valley Reservoir and up the North Fork of the Feather River. On the northwest and north flanks, the fire will move toward Humbug Road through Little Grizzly Valley. On the west side, the fire will back down through the Soda and Chips Creek drainages.

Slightly lower temperatures and higher humidity may reduce fire behavior across the fire area, however increased fire behavior is still likely where winds align with canyons and heavy fuels. Smoke generated by this fire will continue to present problems for residents and firefighters throughout the fire area, and is expected to impact communities northeast of the fire due to up-canyon winds.

There was limited traffic control today along Highway 70. Travelers should check Highway 70 conditions regularly (800-427-ROAD / www.dot.ca.gov). Motorists should expect delays and need to anticipate firefighting personnel and apparatus on the road in the vicinity of the fire.

Smoke will continue to pose health concerns for the public. Residents are encouraged to visit the “Protect Yourself from Smoke” website for smoke protection information at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/. Local air quality conditions and forecasts are available at http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.main.

For tips on how to prepare for a potential evacuation and what to do if you are evacuated, residents in and near evacuation areas are encouraged to visit the “Ready, Set, Go” website at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/article/3052/15480/.

To report and get updateson power outages please call PG&E’s 24-hour emergency and customer service line: 1-800-743-5002.

Mandatory Evacuations - Rush Creek and the community of Seneca remain under a mandatory evacuation. The Caribou Road from the junction of Highway 70 to Butt Lake Dam is also under mandatory evacuation. Additional evacuations may be necessary depending on fire activity.

Sheriff’s voluntary evacuations are in place for an area south of Highway 89 that includes the Butt Lake Area, Ohio Valley, the Humbug and Humboldt area, and Yellow Creek. Residents between Tobin and Twain on Highway 70 are under a Sheriff’s advisement to begin developing evacuation plans. This area includes Belden, Maggie’s Trailer Park, and Little Haven. Should members of the public require shelter assistance, please call the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office at 530-283-6300. They will coordinate shelter arrangements through the Plumas County Office of Emergency Services

Butt Valley Reservoir recreation facilities administered by PG&E (Ponderosa Flat Campground, Cool Springs Campground, Ray Adams Day Use Area and Boat Launch, as well as Yellow Creek Campground) are closed due to the fire. Gansner Bar, North Fork, and Queen Lily USFS campgrounds remain closed. The Little Grizzly dispersed camping area and High Lakes OHV area, are also closed.

Communities west of the fire area including Paradise, Jarbo Gap, and Concow are not threatened at this time.

In the interest of firefighter and public safety, the Plumas and Lassen National Forests have expanded the original closure areas due to the fire’s growth. The closures will remain in place until the area is safe for the public to enter. Please see the Forest Orders and closure maps on InciWeb (address above). Pacific Crest Trail hikers may bypass the affected area by hiking Highway 70/89 or catching a bus with Plumas Transit to Chester, CA (weekdays only).

Motorists are encouraged to use caution on Highway 70 and Highway 89 due to fire activity and increased fire traffic.

The Chips Fire made a run to the north today south of the Little Grizzly camping area and was held by crews at the Humbug Road containment line. Crews attempting to improve old containment line from Yellow Creek Camp to Butt Valley Reservoir were force to pull off the line due to increased fire activity late this afternoon. Contingency line north of Humbug road is being improved.

 

The fire spotted into Digger Creek near Caribou today and made a push north and up-slope away toward the western shore of Butt Lake. The fire has reached the western shore of Butt Lake. Crews working on Red Hill continue to make excellent progress on securing containment lines in this area. The fire remained quiet along Highway 70 where crews continue to patrol and mop-up hot spots.

 

New contingency lines are being established along Highway 89 and north of Humbug Road as further protection of communities in along the western shore of Lake Almanor. Office of Emergency Service’s engine strike teams are actively working in west Almanor communities to assist residents with making their homes defensible should spot fires occur in the lake shore area.

 

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

 

A community meeting was held at the Canyon Dam Market this evening to allow fire management officials to provide an update on the fire and to answer questions.

 

Fire Behavior and Smoke:

The northeast spread of the fire will continue toward Butt Valley Reservoir during evening ours. Winds will shift after 11 pm to down-canyon winds that will drain down the Feather River into the Sacramento Valley. Temperatures and humidity are expected to be slightly higher this evening.

 

 

 

Public Safety:

There was limited traffic control today along Highway 70. Travelers should check Highway 70 conditions regularly (800-427-ROAD / www.dot.ca.gov). Motorists should expect delays and need to anticipate firefighting personnel and apparatus on the road in the vicinity of the fire.

 

Smoke will continue to pose health concerns for the public. Residents are encouraged to visit the “Protect Yourself from Smoke” website for smoke protection information at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/. Local air quality conditions and forecasts are available at http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.main.

 

For tips on how to prepare for a potential evacuation and what to do if you are evacuated, residents in and near evacuation areas are encouraged to visit the “Ready, Set, Go” website at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/article/3052/15480/.

 

Power Outages:

To report and get updateson power outages please call PG&E’s 24-hour emergency and customer service line: 1-800-743-5002.

 

Evacuations and Closures:

Mandatory Evacuations - Rush Creek and the community of Seneca remain under a mandatory evacuation. The Caribou Road from the junction of Highway 70 to Butt Lake Dam is also under mandatory evacuation. Additional evacuations may be necessary depending on fire activity.

 

Sheriff’s voluntary evacuations are in place for an area south of Highway 89 that includes the Butt Lake Area, Ohio Valley, the Humbug and Humboldt area, and Yellow Creek. Residents between Tobin and Twain on Highway 70 are under a Sheriff’s advisement to begin developing evacuation plans. This area includes Belden, Maggie’s Trailer Park, and Little Haven. Should members of the public require shelter assistance, please call the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office at 530-283-6300. They will coordinate shelter arrangements through the Plumas County Office of Emergency Services.

 

Butt Valley Reservoir recreation facilities administered by PG&E (Ponderosa Flat Campground, Cool Springs Campground, Ray Adams Day Use Area and Boat Launch, as well as Yellow Creek Campground) are closed due to the fire. Gansner Bar, North Fork, and Queen Lily USFS campgrounds remain closed. The Little Grizzly dispersed camping area and High Lakes OHV area, are also closed.

 

Communities west of the fire area including Paradise, Jarbo Gap, and Concow are not threatened at this time.

 

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