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Mixed message on the Meadow Valley evacuation order explained

About the time that Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns lifted the mandatory evacuation order for Meadow Valley, reducing it to an advisory, the morning update by Operations Section Chief Jake Cagle was posted to the Plumas National Forest Facebook page, in which he explained why they weren’t advising mandatory evacuations be lifted for Meadow Valley. “We’re really focusing on Silver Lake with the northeast winds this morning … we’re holding off on lifting evacuations in Meadow Valley; we appreciate everyone being patient.” He added that the crews “really want to lock this off.”

Plumas News called for clarification and learned that Cagle taped the briefing about 8 a.m. but it wasn’t posted until later. In the interim, officials from the fire management team and the Sheriff’s Office met and decided that the evacuation order could be lifted.

The public is reminded that only residents are allowed back into Meadow Valley and all of the surrounding area remains closed. Residents are also reminded that they remain under an advisory warning and should remain vigilant.

As for other areas of the fire, Cagle said there was increased activity in the Spanish Creek area where some green islands were burning in the interior. This activity led some in the Quincy area to think there were spot fires, but they were not. Cagle explained that it’s a good thing for these remaining areas to burn.

Everything else on the southern edge remains in the current footprint.

Up into Crescent Mills, crews brought a firing operation to just west of Crescent Mills, to take away the fire threat to that community.

Up in the Evans Peak, Pecks Valley, and Hunt Canyon areas, crews are doing structure prep, as well as up into Diamond Mountain Road, the site of last year’s Sheep Fire.

Today’s inversion over the fire limits the ability to use aircraft, but it tempers fire behavior. When the inversion lifts, the air attack will resume. ” We will work ahead of this thing,” Cagle said. “Water drops and retardants, they don’t put the fire out, they help limit the growth.”

Crews are also working to protect the large repeater site on Dyer Mountain.

Structure prep is also underway at Hamilton Branch, Clear Creek, Westwood, and on the East Shore of Lake Almanor. “We’re using resources as best as we can,” he said, and for now that’s structure prep until crews can fight the fire directly.

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