Aug. 30: UPDATE: Decision tomorrow on Greenhorn, Spring Garden
UPDATE 9 p.m.: Smoke continued to plague the Quincy area which prevented air reconnaissance from providing information to ground crews, but did help stem the spread of the fire.
During an afternoon community meeting, Sheriff Todd Johns said he was working with the incident command team to determine if and when residents could return to the Greenhorn and Spring Garden communities and expects to make an announcement tomorrow. In the meantime he assured residents that the areas continued to be patrolled 24/7.
Firefighters on the Claremont Fire worked to complete strategic firing operations in the southeast corner of the fire. Crews are working to backfire to protect the Highway 70 corridor and the Middle Fork of the Feather River, and a dozer line in Spring Garden to secure that edge of the fire. Once ignitions were complete, crews worked to mop up the fire’s edge and make sure it’s contained for the night.
Firefighters continued to hold the fire in place and mop up any lingering heat throughout the remainder of the perimeter.
During an afternoon community meeting, it was announced that the current Type 1 Incident Command Team would be replaced by another Type 1 team this week. By contrast, the Sheep Fire near Susanville will be welcoming a Type 2 team.
Original story: Fires tend to be more active in the afternoon and that’s exactly what happened on the Claremont Fire yesterday. Of primary concern were spot fires that broke out east of Highway 70 between Greenhorn Ranch and Harrison roads. Engines that had just arrived to fight the Bear Fire were diverted to the Claremont.
The Claremont Fire is 22,382 acres and 59 percent contained.
Though more resources are coming in, they are not enough to fully fight both blazes and must be shared. Structure protection resources are stationed throughout Greenhorn, Sloat and adjacent communities. In addition to the spots across the highway, firefighters were contending with several spots on the southeast edge of the Claremont – in the Spring Garden area –but were making good progress and had lines in place. It’s reported that the spot fires have been contained
The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office proved to be prophetic in a message that it released yesterday regarding evacuations: For Greenhorn and Spring Garden residents we would like to be able to lift road closures and evacuations; however, we have to wait to receive a safe recommendation from the fire operations division. Due to the active fire near Greenhorn/Spring Garden and the limited evacuation routes and potential to see spot fires across Hwy 70 near Lee Summit, we have to leave the order in place. When we get new information we will provide it.
Highway 70 was closed for a time in the early evening and then reopened to escorted traffic about 9 p.m. It is now reopened.
A dry cold front is forecast to move in Sunday. The front will bring north winds and lower humidity. This combination will encourage fire activity, but also push much of the growth to the south and west.
Plumas News will be talking with a Forest Service meteorologist this morning and hopefully will be able to share some news about what to expect with air quality in the coming days.
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. It is part of the North Complex of fires burning on the Plumas National Forest. Below is the most recent evacuation orders for the fire.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.