9 p.m.: This is the final update provided by the Forest Service for this Sunday evening. According to the incident commander, crews continue to put in direct handline in the West Fork of the Mill Creek drainage. With hard work and diligence, firefighters continue to hold the fire above the 24N20 Road, where it is slowly backing down with minimal spread. On the south side, bulldozers are putting in line, with 10 more dozers requested for tomorrow. Overall, it was a successful day with minimal fire growth and moderated fire behavior. As of this evening, there are 1,800 dedicated firefighters committed. Updates will resume tomorrow morning.
8:15 p.m.: It’s shaping up to be a smokey evening. Quoting the Forest Service’s recent post: “Smoke goes up in the day and comes down at night. Mix in a bit of a wind shift and you have smoked-out communities.”
The Plumas National Forest fire management team is transitioning with a CA Type 2 Incident Command Team. Base camp is coming together at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds and will fill up fast with firefighters coming off shift. To all of those who have been concerned about the fair, it is set to open as scheduled Wednesday, Aug. 9.
5:15 p.m. Sheriff Greg Hagwood announced that he doesn’t anticipate any evacuations today or tonight. “The firefighters have made great progress,” he said.”They made a good frontal assault and they have held the fire line.” However, he cautioned that the area is not out of the woods. Lee Anne Schramel, public affairs officer for the Plumas National Forest, agreed that progress had been made, but was also cautious. “We are pleased with the progress that we made today, but we need to get through this current burn period and through the night, and will re-evaluate in the morning.”
4 p.m.: The Forest Service continues its air attack on the Minerva Fire via plane and helicopter. Quincy resident Graham Shea shot this video Saturday afternoon.
2:30 p.m.: The Forest Service is reporting that firefighters are having success working on fire line in the West Fork of the Mill Creek drainage, with extensive air support. Quincy residents are likely seeing the giant, mosquito-like, Sky Crane, with its snorkel which sucks up water into its belly tank. Structure firefighters are assessing neighborhoods in Quincy and nearby areas to determine how to best protect structures if the need arises. Currently the fire is still above the 24N20 Road (Watershed Road), but it is slowly backing toward it. Crews are working along the length of the road to clear brush. Crews are also building direct line along the flanks of the fire. The hot, dry, burn period in the late afternoon will be a critical juncture in this phase of the fire. Smoke is now moving out toward Meadow Valley and Bucks Lake, however there are no threats to those communities at this time. The fire is basically at the same size, just changing shape.
1:30 p.m. update: Individuals have asked if there is any containment on the Minerva Fire. Forest Service responds that the fire is still in its early stages with no containment information. Four helicopters with buckets and two scoopers are working Bucks along with four large air tankers and the VLAT (very large air tanker). The latter fills up at McClellan in Sacramento. There are many engines and hand crews working the fire as well. Forest Service reports that the fire is close to the “burn period” — that portion of the day when temperatures are hottest, winds pick up and humidity drops. A Type 2 Incident Management Team arrives tonight and fire camp is being established at the fairgrounds.
11:40 a.m. update: This is a topographical map of the fire’s footprint.
9:23 update: The Forest Service has been publishing regular updates on Facebook but advises that individuals who don’t use Facebook can visit inciweb.nwcg.gov and look for #MinervaFire.
8:40 update: The Forest Service is estimating the fire to be at 700 acres this morning. The focus today is to keep the fire south of Watershed Road (24N20) and west of the 2421 Road. Helicopters, airtankers and scoopers will be used as well as a very large air tanker. Fire activity is expected to increase this afternoon. Continue to be prepared. See www.ReadyforWildfire.org for tips on how to do that.
8:22 a.m. update: In response to a number of inquiries, Sheriff Greg Hagwood is asking the public to remain vigilant and report any unusual activity – such as cars parked where they shouldn’t be. He reports that there were a number of suspicious fire starts in the past 24 hours including two on Big Creek Road last night. Contrary to some rumors, no suspect has been arrested.
7:15 a.m. update: According to the Forest Service, cooler night temperatures and calmer winds kept the Minerva Fire activity moderated through the night. The fire is in the west fork of the Mill Creek drainage, but has not crossed Watershed Road. Structure fire protection will continue throughout the day. The attack will continue from the air and on the ground. A base camp will be established at the fairgrounds.
6:30 a.m. Sunday, July 30: Firefighters patrolled Quincy throughout the night ready to provide structure fire protection. At this time the Forest Service is gathering data and assessing the situation. This site will be updated as soon as that information is available. In the meantime, Sheriff Greg Hagwood encourages residents to prepare for evacuation if that step becomes necessary.