8:30 p.m. The Minerva Fire has grown to 1,350 acres and is 20 percent contained. According to the Forest Service’s latest report, the line on the north end of the fire is tied up fairly well; nothing crossed the Watershed Road (Peppard Flat or 24N20), which is good news. But there is still lots of open fire line to the southeast, which is where the fire grew this afternoon. The fire has burned over the ridge between the west and middle branches of Mill Creek. Weather, diversion of resources and mechanical difficulties impacted today’s air attack. The sheriff reported that the presence of a private drone forced the helicopters to cease flying.
6:30 p.m. update: Sheriff Greg Hagwood reports that the fire has been very active today and strongly encourages Quincy residents, especially those in East Quincy, to maintain a high level of preparedness and have an emergency plan in place for the possibility of evacuations. There are currently NO EVACUATION ORDERS. When preparing, collect items such as: important documents, photos, cell phones, animals, and other items of importance. Again, he stresses that there are NO EVACUATION ORDERS at this time.
3:30 p.m. update: The Plumas County Public Health Agency and the local air quality district have issued a joint air quality advisory (see related post) as a result of conditions caused by the Minerva Fire. Firefighters continue to fight the fire from the air and on the ground. The fire is burning in areas that include trees and heavy brush on both sides of Claremont Ridge.
Noon update: Following are the latest numbers from the Forest Service: Total personnel: 1,820; size: 1,050 acres; percent contained: 15% and estimated containment date: Aug. 12
8 a.m., Monday, July 31: – The Minerva Fire is now at approximately 1,000 acres with 1,800 firefighters working the fire and providing structure protection. According to the Forest Service, firefighters worked through the night, making good use of moderated fire behavior, to construct direct fire line with bulldozers and crews where it was safe to do so. Efforts focused on lines to the north and east sides of the fire, working above Boyle’s Ravine and in the west branch of the Mills Creek drainage. While there is still a lot of open line, firefighters were pleased with the progress. Crews woke up to a hot breakfast and following morning briefing at 6:00am, are heading out for day shift.
While residents are still cautioned to be prepared, Sheriff Greg Hagwood said the fact that “we have not had to evacuate has been wonderful.” Hagwood said he and his staff will continue to work with the Forest Service and all of the fire departments that are in town to help protect Quincy.