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.
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.