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Aug. 31 UPDATED: Bear Fire hits 10 percent containment

UPDATE 9 p.m.: The Bear Fire is 9,716 acres and 10 percent contained.

Firefighters were able to attack the southwest edge of the fire today and take advantage of clear air brought on by northerly winds. Helicopters dropped 15,000 gallons of retardant as the fire pushed toward Hose Mine in the Willow Creek drainage. The wind shift and clear air allowed the fire to breath but growth was minimal at less than 200 acres and containment is reported at 10 percent.

Fire activity throughout the rest of the Bear perimeter was moderate, but interior pockets of fuel continued to burn. Personnel are scouting for areas were crews can take direct action along the fire’s edge, but, given the terrain and resources available, indirect line remains the focus. Structure protection resources are in place throughout the Bucks Lake and Haskins Valley neighborhoods.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: The air has cleared a bit and helicopters are able to attack the fire by air, which is a welcome sight to area residents. They also report seeing structure protection crews in their neighborhoods assessing driveways and access to homes.

Resources poured into the Bear Fire as firefighters hope to keep the fire from impacting the communities of Bucks Lake, Haskins Valley, Tollgate, Meadow Valley and Quincy. A steady parade of bulldozers drove up Bucks Lake Road to build and secure fire line between the fire and those communities. There is the potential for the Bear and Claremont fires to merge and firefighters want to be prepared.

As of this morning, Aug. 31, the Bear Fire is 9,570 acres and 0 percent contained. An advisory remains in effect for a portion of the Bucks Lake area. See the most recent orders from the Plumas County sheriff below.

Yesterday’s smoke impacted the Bear Fire just as it did the Claremont. It impacted visibility and prevented aircraft from providing much reconnaissance to support firefighters on the ground, but it helped to prevent significant fire growth.

The Bear Fire did grow to the west and crossed Willow Creek, but activity was minimal compared to Saturday. The fire also grew to the east, in the area of Deadman Spring.

The Bear Fire, which broke out Aug. 17 following a lightning strike, received little attention initially due to scarce resources as firefighters and equipment were devoted to the fires threatening people and property. Now the Bear and Claremont are both priorities.

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.


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