This is a plume of smoke from last year's Claremont Fire before it became part of the North Complex. The public is asked to be on the lookout for smoke and report it immediately. File photo by Johnny Walker

Claremont Fire Aug. 18: Sheriff warns La Porte Road residents to be prepared

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.: The Claremont Fire is now 300 acres and moving upslope to the east. Two dozers from the Loyalton Fire will be arriving to assist in building ridge lines on the east side of the fire.

UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: Plumas National Forest spokesman Leslie Edlund announced that the fire is now at approximately 200 acres. The primary concern is the upper portion of La Porte Road, past the hairpin turn many are familiar with — due to the forecast of west winds. She said that strike team engines were headed to the area to assess structure protection should it be required. The forest has ordered crews and dozers, but resources are stretched thin due to the numbers of fire burning in the state. The fire continues to burn out of the Middle Fork and then rolls back down.

The Claremont Fire, began yesterday as the result of a lightning strike; as of 10 a.m. today, no new numbers were available from the Plumas National Forest. Last evening it was estimated to be at 100 to 150 acres. It is located southeast of the 2017 Minerva Fire that threatened Quincy in 2017.

Sheriff Todd Johns advised the Plumas County Board of Supervisors this morning, Aug. 18, that residents along LaPorte Road are going to be advised that there is the potential for the fire to come into that area depending on the winds. He advised all Plumas County residents to have a “go” box ready with important documents, prized possessions, etc., due to the number of new fire starts that are being addressed.

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Airtankers have been working the fire in addition to other resources. The fire is burning in steep and rugged terrain, which makes it difficult to access. If the fire does burn into the Minerva Fire footprint, what does that mean for the fire’s progress? According to a retired Forest Service employee, if it’s been logged and dead debris removed, the fire’s progress could be slowed — much as it would if a fire hit a defensible fuel profile zone. However, if it hasn’t been treated, the dead trees coupled with new underbrush growth could fan the fire.

An InciWeb page has been established to provide regular updates. Smoke is extremely visible throughout the American Valley and beyond.

The Claremont Fire was originally reported at 10 to 15 acres at 4 p.m. yesterday and had grown to 1oo to 150 acres by evening. The smoke was easily visible from many points around the area.