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Aug. 26 UPDATE: Claremont Fire, some good news for Sloat, Cromberg as of now

UPDATE 8 p.m.: Fire activity increased during the afternoon with the primary growth in the southwest corner of the fire south of Highway 70 and west of Spring Garden. Firefighters will continue to patrol, mop up and reinforce firelines where applicable overnight.

Earlier in the evening Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns participated in a virtual community meeting and was asked if he anticipated mandatory evacuations for the Cromberg and Sloat communities. He said he visited the vicinity late this afternoon with incident command and “as of right now the fire is holding.” He said there was currently no indication that the fire would go to those communities, but the situation could change and residents should be prepared if necessary. They remain under an evacuation advisory.

UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: The Forest Service reported that fire activity is increasing across the North Complex, including the Claremont Fire. It’s too smoky for air retardant drops, but dozer and hand lines are being built. Helicopters were making water drops on the western side of the fire to cool it off and expand the containment line south of Quincy. Good news regarding the area that crossed over Highway 70 at the Massack rest area — it is being lined and mopped up. The rest area sustained some damage and is closed until further notice.

Highway 70 is open without CHP escort; however it should be limited to necessary travel only. The speed limit is reduced and motorists should watch for emergency personnel.

The Claremont Fire is 20,423 acres and 7 percent contained. The Forest Service is reporting that favorable weather conditions made for a relatively quiet night for the fire with little spread. Crews continued to reinforce the work accomplished by the day crew.

Today, crews will work to increase containment by reinforcing dozer line heading around the west and southwest perimeter of the fire. The south side of the fire is moving into an old fire area with less fuel to burn, so is moving slowly. Crews will also continue to work on building dozer and hand line in and near Greenhorn and Spring Garden to protect residences in the event of a fire breakover.

Yesterday  crews reinforced dozer lines on the north side of the fire below Quincy enough to consider a portion of that line contained (7 percent). The fire did not move much on the southeast side near Spring Garden, east of Highway 70. Crews  were prepped to knock down spots if winds picked up and there was some activity, but they were able to hold the fire in place. Crews were also building dozer and hand line in and near Greenhorn and Spring Garden to protect residences there in the event of a fire breakover.

The big news yesterday was that East Quincy residents were allowed to go home, thanks to all of the work on the containment lines.

Hwy 70 is currently open with a police escort from Quincy La Porte Road to Spring Garden. Quincy La Porte Road from Hwy 70 to Red Bridge and Peppard Flat Road (dirt portion) remain closed.

Mandatory evacuations remain in place for La Porte Road, Spring Garden and Greenhorn.

The Claremont Fire broke out Aug. 17 as the result of a lightning strike. It has threatened the communities of East Quincy, La Porte Road, the Highway 70 corridor, Spring Garden, Greenhorn, Cromberg and Sloat.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.



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