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Aug. 27: The Bear Fire now at 5,176 acres; 0 percent contained

UPDATE 9:10 p.m.: The Forest Service is reporting tonight that good progress was made across the northern section of the Bear Fire where crews neared completion on a dozer line running east to west utilizing forest roads to prevent the fire from progressing toward Quincy.

Crews also are working to build indirect line to the west.

Original story: The Bear Fire, which broke out Aug. 17, received little attention initially (a crew was dropped in, but had to retreat due to the difficult terrain), but with scarce resources, firefighters and equipment were devoted to the fires threatening people and property. Those efforts were focused not only on the Claremont and Sheep Fires, but a host of little fires that threatened communities and forced evacuations in Indian Valley.

But the situation has changed. The little fires are all controlled, contained or out, and the Bear Fire has grown to the point that it is now a threat to people and property. Yesterday, an advisory evacuation notice was issued for a portion of Bucks Lake.

There is also concern for the fire reaching Meadow Valley, and, if left unchecked, Quincy. For days, incident command considered how to best attack the fire because of its difficult location and thick fuel.

Yesterday crews worked to build a defensive line along Slate Creek Spur on the north side of the fire in an effort to catch any threat of it moving north toward Quincy, as well as build indirect line on the west side of the fire. The fire remains active and is backing through significant fuels in an area that has little to no fire history. The largest dozers available are being used on the fire.

The evacuation advisory extends south of Bucks Lake Lodge to include Big Creek Road from Bucklin Road to China Gulch and south of Big Creek Road to Mount Ararat.

The Bear Fire is located on the Pacific Crest Trail, 1-mile northwest of Butte Bar Campground and 1.5 southeast of Lookout Rock. The Pacific Crest Trail from Onion Valley to Bucks Summit remains closed. It broke out Aug. 17 following a lightning strike.

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