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Firefighters plan how to best address the Claremont Fire near Greenhorn on Sunday, Aug. 30. This group represented the Los Angeles Fire Department. Photo courtesy of the Greenhorn Fire Department

Aug. 31: Claremont Fire UPDATED – Fire held within its footprint today

UPDATE 9 p.m.: The Claremont Fire is 22,892 acres and 59 percent contained.

Today crews held the fire in its footprint across all sides and worked to mop up several spot fires from Sunday. Those spots – some near Estray Creek on the east side of Highway 70, some west toward the Harrison Flat, Bray Creek and Red Bridge areas – have all been contained, lined and mopped up.

Firefighters will patrol the Claremont tonight and mop up any hot spots that pose a threat to the line.

UPDATE 1:50 p.m.: This just in: Sheriff Todd Johns just met with Incident Management Team members and local crew members on the ground for the #ClaremontFire and received an undesirable report. Due to multiple active hot spots/pockets near the north east edge of the fire and today’s increasing winds they cannot safely recommend the repopulation of the Greenhorn or Spring Garden communities. According to the release: We are sad to report this; however we have to do what is safe to protect the residents. We will continue to reevaluate the conditions and provide updates.”

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.:  The Plumas County Sheriff said he would make an announcement about the ability of Greenhorn and Spring Garden residents to return home, but as of now the mandatory evacuation is still in place. Here is a message released today: “For Greenhorn and Spring Garden residents there has been progress made every day to further secure your community and make it safer. We have continued to patrol your evacuated communities daily! As of this moment your communities remain evacuated; however, we hope to deliver a positive announcement about your closure later today. Please keep in mind fire behavior is ever changing and although we hope to bring you good news later today circumstances may change at any time.”

For Quincy LaPorte Road residents between Thompson Creek and Red Bridge there has still been hot pockets in the area and timber snags which need to be addressed. According to the Incident Management Team they hope to be able to work more in the area today to mitigate those safety concerns. “We know you are extremely eager to get back into your homes and we are working with the team to make that happen as soon as possible; however, may need another day or so depending on the team’s ability to complete the work in the area to insure it is safe to travel in,” read today’s message.

Original story: Is this the day that Greenhorn and Spring Garden residents will be allowed to return home? Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns said he plans to make an announcement this morning.

New mapping shows the Claremont Fire is now 22,780 acres and 59 percent contained. (A fire map is included below.)

Though smoke continued to plague the area yesterday and prevented air reconnaissance from providing information to ground crews, it did help stem the spread of the fire.

Structure protection remained in place to protect homes from spot fires in Greenhorn and Spring Garden as well as the Cromberg and Sloat areas. Firefighters also used backfires to protect the Highway 70 corridor. Greenhorn and Spring Garden residents remain under mandatory evacuation, while Cromberg and Sloat are under an advisory order. (See complete list below.)

During a virtual community meeting Sunday afternoon, operations officers explained that the preference is to fight a fire directly, but when that isn’t possible due to wind, weather, terrain or fire behavior, an indirect line is established in front of the fire and that area is burned to help stop the fire when it reaches that point. There were several burnout operations in the Sloat area. Once ignitions were complete, crews worked to mop up the fire’s edge and make sure it’s contained for the night.

During the community meeting, it also 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, which indicates that officials think that fire is winding down, while the Bear and Claremont continue to pose a threat.

Progress was made Sunday and overnight, while on Saturday spot fires broke out east of Highway 70 between Greenhorn Ranch and Harrison roads, closing Highway 70 for a time.

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.

 

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