Aug. 24: UPDATE – Claremont Fire now at 20,684 acres
UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: The Plumas County Sheriff has called for advisory evacuation notices for Sloat and Cromberg as a result of the fire’s progression today, which grew to 20,684 acres.
During tonight’s update, the Forest Service reported that tempered weather today allowed crews to go on the offensive and attack the fire and build line, rather than constant structure protection as in previous days. The fire remains active near Highway 70 as well as south of the Feather River.
The spots that crossed over Highway 70 had a hand crew working to build line. Crews will continue to defend lines near structures overnight to further stabilize the area.
Union Pacific (UP) moved a Fire Train into the area to assist with fire suppression along the railroad tracks adjacent to the highway. The UP locomotive has a water tank car attached with a pump on top that supplies hoses, nozzles, and deck guns to help extinguish fires and hot spots on or along the railroad tracks.
The California Highway Patrol escorted groups of cars today on Highway 70 through the burned over area. The area is still considered a closed zone and should be avoided if possible. The highway can close again at anytime in the event the area is not safe to travel.
UPDATE 10 a.m.: The acreage for the Claremont Fire has been updated to 17,101 acres.
The Forest Service announced that crews worked overnight protecting structures and pushing the fire back as allowed by conditions. There were no reported structure losses from yesterday. Some progress was made on the heel of the fire north and west of Crescent Hill near Claremont.
Crews will work today to tie into old dozer line from the Minerva Fire. Structure protection will continue to be top priority in the La Porte area, along with the Hwy 70 corridor. Crews are also in place and prepping the communities of Greenhorn and Chandler road area.
Original Story: Do you want the good news or the bad news? The good news is shorter. After one week of living with the Claremont Fire, it is now 2 percent contained. The Plumas National Forest recorded no lightning strikes and a very light rain fell his morning. Now for the bad news.
Highway 70 is closed from East Quincy to Rattlesnake Road, just west of Cromberg, and has forced the mandatory evacuations of La Porte Road, Greenhorn, Spring Garden, and a portion of the the Highway 70 corridor. (The latest evacuation and road closure information is contained below.)
The fire has grown to 15,656 acres and is expected to continue to move in a northeast direction today.
Though the weather is expected to be cooler, there is a 10 percent chance of thunder storms and winds picking up this afternoon. There are a couple spot fires south of Red Bridge off the Middle Fork of the Feather River and crews will be attacking those.
Crews are continuing to secure the bulldozer line south of the East Quincy neighborhood.
Yesterday afternoon the fire crossed the Middle Fork of the Feather River, moving east toward Spring Garden. That’s when the mandatory evacuation orders were issued for Spring Garden and Greenhorn Ranch around 6 p.m. Several helicopters assisted with overhead water drops to cool the flames while crews worked to knock down spot fires.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.