7:30 p.m. update: The Forest Service is reporting tonight that the effort to fight the Minerva Fire is “going very well.” East Quincy residents will still see columns of fire that are expected to merge as planned. This site will be updated tonight if there is any additional news to report, as happened with last night’s spot fires and voluntary evacuation order. Otherwise there will be a fresh update after tomorrow morning’s 6 a.m. briefing.
4:30 p.m. update: Air and ground crews continue to implement today’s fire management plan which is to hold, secure and mop up some areas of the fire, and undertake more burn-outs for others. Smoke continues to be heavy in the valley. The key areas of concern are the Mill Creek Drainage and Boyle Ravine.
Sheriff Greg Hagwood said the managed burn has put up a lot of smoke, but the reports are good. He reminds downtown Quincy residents that the voluntary evacuation from Jackson Street south remains in place. Six individuals spent last night at the evacuation center which is located at the Mormon Church at 55 Bellamy Lane. Those who have elected not to evacuate at this time should remain prepared.
The Forest Service reports that the firefighter who was injured in the fire yesterday is continuing to improve. He was from the Mammoth Lakes area and now has family with him.
10 a.m. update: Firefighters continue their work on the Minerva Fire. Helicopters have resumed the air attack with fixed wing aircraft expected when visibility improves. Cloud cover is trapping smoke in the basin. Rain is expected today with a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. Winds are expected to be calmer than yesterday. According to the Forest Service, there likely will be more spotting today.
7 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5: The voluntary evacuation of downtown Quincy that was announced late last night will remain in effect until further notice. (South of Jackson from Nugget Lane to the end of Old Meadow Valley Road. An evacuation center has been established at the Mormon Church on Bellamy Lane.) There are no immediate plans for a mandatory evacuation. The voluntary evacuation was called after spot fires entered Boyle Ravine above downtown Quincy. At this morning’s 6 a.m. briefing, the Forest Service reported that there were 12 spot fires (that have been detected thus far) ranging in size from 1 to 12 acres. The good news, according to night ops chief Steve Watkins, is that the night shift was able to “control them last night.”
The fire now stands at 3,700 acres.
This morning, the air attack will begin again, with eight helicopters available. Quincy residents witnessed an amazing sight last night as helicopters raced to dump water on the spots that had traversed into Boyle Ravine.
It was reported that when the fire reached the crowns of trees, flames shot up as high as 150 feet, with spotting possible up to a quarter-mile away. The fire is one-half mile from town as of this morning.
This site will be updated as more information becomes available.