July 13 evening update: Beckwourth Complex is 66 percent contained

Jake Cagle’s July 13 evening update brought welcome news: The Beckworth Complex is now 66 percent contained. Cagle is the system operations chief for the incident management team overseeing the fire.

Cagle gave the usual rundown of the fire’s perimeter. It is holding within the containment lines from the original footprint of the Sugar Fire to Scott Road, with crews continuing mop-up operations and getting more depth along the lines. He reminded the public that the Plumas County Sheriff lifted the mandatory evacuation order for the area, but an advisory remains in place.

From Scott Road to Doyle (the eastern edge of the fire) the containment lines are holding. “It looks really good on the 395 corridor,” Cagle said.

Likewise the Doyle Grade area is holding, but as it moves to the west, the situation is a little more volatile. “It’s a challenge to Dixie Lookout,” Cagle said. It’s steep rugged terrain, that takes crews about an hour to access and it’s the area that is actively burning until about 3 a.m. each morning.

Advertisement

As a result, firefighters are relying heavily on air attack and working on alternative lines should the fire continue to spread west. “There’s about 6 miles left to tie in,” Cagle said of the challenging area.

Moving on to the Dotta Fire, Cagle said that there are no issues and he is hopeful that it will soon be declared 100 percent contained (it’s been at 99 percent for a couple of days) but there is still some interior smoke.

Cagle closed off the evening’s presentation by showing a video of firefighters working to protect a structure and wanted the public to know that crews — both local and from all over the United States — are working diligently to put out this fire.

“We want to put this fire out,” he reiterated, addressing rumors that the Forest Service is managing the fire, not putting it out. “We’re not managing it.”

Advertisement

He said that “it’s unfortunate that we lost some structures, but that’s the fire behavior,” with these challenging conditions.

A complete list of structures lost is not yet available, though it is known that structures were destroyed in the Frenchman Lake area, as well as in Doyle.

During the Plumas County Board of Supervisors’ meeting this morning, Sheriff Todd Johns said it’s surprisingly difficult to complete damage assessments amid the destruction.