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Aug. 28: UPDATE: The Bear Fire heading southwest

UPDATE: 8:50 p.m.: Crews continue to work to protect communities, but also to reduce the footprint of the fire. Dozer line is being laid to protect Tollgate, Meadow Valley and Quincy, as well as using an existing road system to the west to protect Haskins Valley and Bucks Lake. Residents will see an increased firefighter presence in the area.

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.:  More resources have been diverted to the Bear Fire. But contrary to what was reported earlier by the Forest Service, the Bear Fire has not crossed Hartman Bar Trail. It crossed Deadman Spring Trail.

UPDATE 9 a.m.: This is directly from the morning’s briefing: As other fires in the North Complex increase in containment, focus on the Bear Fire will ramp up and additional resources are being assigned to that fire. Priority has shifted to completing firelines to keep the fire out of the Willow Creek drainage and protect the Haskins Valley and Bucks Lake areas. Dozer lines have been completed across the north of the fire to prevent any push toward Meadow Valley, Quincy and Tollgate.

Original story: The Bear fire has grown to 6,578 acres and remains 0 percent contained.

Crews continue to build dozer lines to prevent the fire from advancing toward Quincy.

While awaiting news from the night shift, it can be reported that the Forest Service reported last night 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.

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. Wednesday, an advisory evacuation notice was issued for a portion of Bucks Lake. 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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