Forest Service addresses increased staffing due to storms as well as flash flood potential

Plumas National Forest Fire and Aviation resources will be on extended staffing for all resources until 8 p.m. this evening July 30, and there will be 24-hour staffing across the forest due to increased fire danger and widespread lightning.

The Mount Hough Ranger District is currently in a lightning plan due to this afternoon’s thunderstorms.  While most of the lightning was cloud-to-cloud, there are some ground strikes, especially in the Grizzly Ridge and Genesee areas.  No lightning fires have been confirmed at this time, though crews are on the scene of the Keddie Fire, which is  being held at 1 acre according to the most recent report.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento has issued a Flash Flood Warning until 10:30 p.m. over the Dixie Fire burn scar as a result of thunderstorm activity in the area.

Flash flooding and slides are possible, especially in areas that have received heavy rainfall this afternoon.  This includes nearby recreation areas.  Please use caution and be prepared to seek high ground and avoid low areas.

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Plumas National Forest firefighting resources have been in varying 24-hour staffing configurations over the past two weeks due to increased fire danger and lightning on the east side of the Forest.

Firefighters have been responding to numerous incidents over the past several weeks, including providing mutual aid and assisting other agencies and fire departments with fire suppression.  This morning, the Bald Fire near Milsap Bar was discovered and contained at a half-acre.  Firefighters are continuing to work on controlling the fire.

Increased staffing will continue as fire conditions require. Thunderstorms are predicted in the area for the next several days and firefighting resources will be patrolling the area looking for lightning fires.  Holdover lightning fires can be discovered several days after the storm.

With the ongoing pattern of hot, dry weather over the past few weeks, the fire danger is increasing.  The Plumas National Forest is preparing to go into Stage II Fire Restrictions early this week.

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Area residents and visitors are urged to be careful with anything that can spark a wildfire.  Human caused fires are preventable and by avoiding them it allows firefighters to focus on identifying and extinguishing lightning fires.  To report suspected wildfires, please call 911.

For more information on the Plumas National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/plumas, follow the forest on Twitter @USFSPlumas or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas.