Today fire crews will set back fires to fight the MInerva Fire indirectly with the goal of stopping its spread. Weather conditions are favorable this weekend. This photo was taken yesterday as crews tested the fuels and fire behavior. Photo by Victoria Metcalf

Minerva Fire – Day 7

7:30 p.m. update: The fire is now at 2,625 acres and 43 percent contained. The Forest Service reports that the fire remained active today with short crown runs observed during the back firing operations. The east side of the fire continued to hold the most heat throughout the day. Residents of downtown Quincy have enjoyed a rare evening of light smoke.

5 p.m. update: According to the latest information from the Forest Service, the burnout operations are proceeding as planned and the fire is within the containment lines. Winds are coming out of the west and moving smoke to the east. East Quincy residents should expect to see fire activity similar to what they saw last night. This website will be updated following tonight’s briefing when the day shift reports on today’s activity.

3 p.m. update: The Plumas County Public Health Agency and the air quality management district have extended their joint air quality advisory at least through Monday, Aug. 7, due to the Minerva Fire south of Quincy. Air quality will continue to vary for the next several days as fire crews continue their work. More intensive back burns planned for today and this weekend. Quincy residents will continue to be impacted by the smoke, but Portola and Chester should see improving conditions tomorrow.

The Minerva Fire now stands at 2,304 acres and is 43 percent contained.

11:15 a.m.:A firefighter has been injured while working the line on the Minerva Fire. He was flown via helicopter to the airport in Quincy. He was awake and alert while being transferred for evaluation.

A firefighter injured on the line in the Minerva Fire arrives at the airport in Quincy.

7:30 a.m., Friday, Aug. 4:  “The fire has forced our hand; we’re going to have to finish this out.” That statement was made at this morning’s 6 a.m. briefing as fire crews prepare to light backfires to fight the Minerva Fire, which now stands at 2,150 acres and is 43 percent controlled. The Forest Service’s direct assault has been successful in stopping portions of the fire, but rugged and inaccessible terrain, as well as a lack of air resources, have combined to require an indirect attack on the portion of the fire that would threaten East Quincy and La Porte Road, if left unchecked.

It’s expected that the indirect fire line will be completed today and the burning operation will begin. “We need you to dig deeper for the next several days,” crews were told. Looking ahead, the forecast is expected to be drier next week and there will be less resources as some crews are let go. Fire crews work in 14 day increments, and those that arrived directly from other fires are reaching that limit. However, there is a potential for crews to remain for 21 days in some instances.

Forest Service officials complimented the firefighters on the excellent work being done on both the day and night shifts, working on a “shoestring budget in terms of resources.”

Today, eight helicopters will be working the fire in shifts. Some will be carrying a mix of retardant and water from Gansner, where a base has been established.

Quincy residents can expect to see more smoke as the back fires are set and the clouds trap the smoke.

 

14 thoughts on “Minerva Fire – Day 7

  • August 4, 2017 at 8:04 am
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    God bless you each and every one of them

  • August 4, 2017 at 8:09 am
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    Awesome job firefighters. Stay strong!!!

  • August 4, 2017 at 8:27 am
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    Thank you, thank you, thank you FIREFIGHTERS and ALL that are involved in keeping our beloved community safe from Minerva!! Prayers!! <3

  • August 4, 2017 at 8:48 am
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    Thank you so much!

  • August 4, 2017 at 9:40 am
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    God Bless the dedication and devotion of the firefighters who somehow find the strength to push thru pain and exhaustion in order to keep Quincy residents safe.

  • August 4, 2017 at 11:09 am
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    Why is there a lack of air resources?

  • August 4, 2017 at 11:19 am
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    This is not the only fire in the nation and air resources are limited in number.

  • August 4, 2017 at 11:49 am
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    If I may; When to burn? When the sun heats the surface natural air flow (without wind) is uphill (away from Quincy). Quincy RAWS at 1115 on 8/4 shows calm winds and an RH of 50%. There is another RAWS somewhere in the fire area. 50% is a bit high but the firefighters will be taking their own weather observations on site into consideration. The temperature has the least impact on the fire activity but the greatest impact on the firefighter. There are other factors but humidity (RH) and wind (speed and direction) has the greatest influence on fire spread. Fire runs uphill faster than downhill. With slope, humidity and wind conditions in their favor the decision to burn out the fuels between the line and the main fire will be made. This is known as a “back fire”. The accuracy of the current weather forecast is critical. If the wind changes direction a completely new story begins to develop. Rest assured they have an NWS meteorologist on site watching for any potential changes in the weather forecast. If the main fire is active enough and close enough it can actually draw the back fire towards itself and away from the line. Take note I did not ever use the term “back burn”. Probably a combination of the 2 concepts of back fire and burnout.

  • August 4, 2017 at 12:49 pm
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    God be with the brave firefighters who are on that line. My heart goes out to all the residents of the area… stay strong, stay safe.

  • August 4, 2017 at 2:50 pm
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    I think of the brave firefighters every day of this fire..my son is a firefighter in another area of Calif.
    You are all heroes..hang in there..we care about you We pray for you. I am in Quincy thanking God for all of you every day. The firefighter who was injured..heal fast, God be with you.
    And E. Quincy..be brave. the firefighters are working so hard to stop this fire in rugged, nearly impossible terrain.
    Cap 281, thank you for the information. Stay safe.

  • August 4, 2017 at 5:09 pm
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    Boggles the mind that this info & explanations aren’t on inciweb. Appears this is the best place to come for info.

    • August 4, 2017 at 5:17 pm
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      I know. I saw many instances of it being updated, but no new information. Other fires seem to have more proactive information on inciweb.

  • August 4, 2017 at 5:16 pm
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    Saw the comment “shoestring resources”. Sad thing is that resources promise to get even tighter given the tax and budget cuts proposed in Washington D.C. Not good.

  • August 5, 2017 at 1:01 pm
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    My husband is on this fire, working the lines. I’m so grateful for these updates!!! He left for the fire the morning after our daughter was born and this makes me just feel so much closer to him. I hope it’s contained soon so the crews can come home to their families!!! We miss our boys (And girls)!!!

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