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Voluntary evacuations in Feather River Canyon

The Murphy’s Fire is being fought from the air due to the rugged, steep terrain in the Feather River Canyon just beyond the old Maple Leaf. Engines from the USFS including Plumas National Forest, CalFire and the Bureau of Land Management were staged along Highway 70. Photo by Victoria Metcalf

7:45 p.m.: The CHP reports that Highway 70 is closed between the Greenville Wye and Jarbo Gap due to the fire. According to the Forest Service, the fire is holding at 100 acres with air tankers and four helicopters working the fire.

1:50 p.m.: Code red notices have been sent to those in the voluntary evacuation areas and the Quincy Veterans Hall at 274 Lawrence St. has been opened for evacuees.

12:50 p.m.: Sheriff Greg Hagwood announced that voluntary evacuations are in effect for Belden, Belden Town, Maggie’s Maple Leaf area and Little Haven.

11:20 a.m. update: The Forest Service is reporting that the Murphy Fire is between 80 and 100 acres, but that it is expected to grow because of the terrain where it is located. No structures are threatened at this time. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Belden north to Highway 36 near Chester. Highway 70 remains open with one-way controlled traffic to allow for the safety of firefighting crews and equipment in the area. The fire is being attacked from the ground and the air. Forest Service is alerting residents that there will be more smoke visible later today as the inversion layer lifts.

The Forest Service is reporting that a fire, estimated to be at about 100 acres as of this morning, is burning in the Feather River Canyon. Highway 70 is under one-way traffic control between Belden and the Rock Creek Dam. Travelers along Highway 70 will be able to see the fire.

It is being called the Murphy’s fire, named for Murphy’s Creek (between Chambers and Rock Creeks) north/northwest of Highway 70 in the Canyon. It is burning in steep, rocky, poison oak covered territory. It is not, however, burning near houses or campgrounds.

The Forest Service, CalFire, the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office and CHP  are on scene with additional resources expected.


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