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The Loyalton Fire advancing on the town of Loyalton on Aug. 17. Photo courtesy of the CHP

Aug. 18: Loyalton Fire grows to over 44,000 acres; now 30 percent contained

UPDATE 7:30 p.m., Aug. 18: According to the latest information from the Tahoe National Forest: As of 6:30pm, no additional structures have been damaged or destroyed by the fire.

Favorable weather conditions allowed crews to get good work done on the Loyalton Fire today, with mop up around the top of the fire to at least 100 ft of the fireline. These lines have held well for several days. On the east side, dozers made good progress in the Balls Canyon area creating containment directly on the fire’s edge.

On the southern edge of the fire, firefighters worked to construct indirect fireline (away from the fire’s active edge) along Bald Mountain Ridge toward Bald Mountain, while also working to suppress the fire at its edge as conditions permitted.

Weather conditions were more favorable for the fire today, with no significant thunderstorm activity directly over the fire. Conditions are expected to remain light through the night shift, with a Red Flag Warning predicted for tomorrow for high temperatures and gusty winds.

Increased fire activity has seen more crews committed and resources spread thin nationally. California is currently in Planning Level (PL5) meaning that the Potential for emerging significant wildland fires is high and expected to remain so.

Original story: The Loyalton Fire, which originated east of Loyalton and southwest of Mount Ina Coolbrith on Aug. 14, is burning north and east adjacent to the areas of Beckwourth Pass and Hallelujah Junction. The fire is now estimated at 44,147 acres and 30 percent contained (this percentage was upgraded at 9 a.m.). The cause of the fire was a lightning strike.

Last night the fire made a run at the town of Loyalton and the residents of the Loyalton Skilled Nursing Facility were evacuated to Eastern Plumas Health Care’s facility in Portola. Residents in Sierra Brooks were also advised to leave.

These are the current evacuation orders as of this morning, Aug. 18:

An advisory evacuation order is in effect for the area of Sierra Brooks. (downgraded from Mandatory.)

Mandatory Evacuation Orders remain in effect for Balls Canyon Road, Long Valley Road, and Copperfield.

Advisory Evacuation Orders remain in effect for the City of Loyalton and homes on the south side of Hwy 49 west of Loyalton to Lombardi Point.

Advisory Evacuation Orders remain in effect for the areas of Cold Springs and Bordertown.

Advisory Evacuation Orders remain in effect for the areas of Chilcoot and Vinton.

Advisory Evacuation Orders remain in effect for the area of Hwy 49 and 70 south to Loyalton, and to the east side of Hwy 49.

All Evacuation Orders in Lassen County have been lifted. Residents are allowed to return to their homes.

Road Closures:

Hwy 49 is closed at Railroad Avenue in Loyalton.

Hwy 395 is currently open.

Hwy 70 is currently open, but under advisory as fire activity could warrant another closure.

Last evening the CHP reported that there was a lot of traffic in the Loyalton area. The public is advised to consider alternative travel routes. Please drive slowly with headlights on and yield to emergency personnel.

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