Oct. 12 North Complex Fire: Focus now on suppression repair

The fire is now 94 percent contained, with suppression repair becoming the focus.

Crews continue to mop up and patrol areas south of Bucks Lake, as well as the penstocks at Bucks Creek Powerhouse. They are monitoring the 70 corridor and the McGee Ridge areas. Last night air operations flew infrared imagery (IR) over the fire and some areas of heat were observed in the fire’s interior and will be monitored.

Suppression repair is the major focus now, including erosion control and recovery of water hoses, pumps and water storage containers. Erosion control involves surface stabilization of exposed soils and berm repair. Crews knock down berms created by bulldozers during fire suppression, smoothing them out and then add drainage to direct water runoff during rain events.

Miles of fire hose are being hauled and taken back to the Incident Command Post where the California Conservation Crews sort through these mountains of hose and refurbish them back into compact rounds. The fire hose will be returned to the forest and regional caches in Redding and San Bernardino to be used for future fire incidents.

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Forest closures remain in effect and hazardous conditions still exist. The public is asked to stay out of forest closure areas, as interference with fire suppression could delay firefighting efforts. Law enforcement will be patrolling the area.

As residents return home following the lifting of evacuation orders, please use caution as fire personnel are still working in the area. Drive carefully and watch for fire equipment. Watch your speed and also be aware of logging trucks around La Porte Road.

Operational briefings will be reduced to every other day. The video posted to the Plumas National Forest Facebook will be at 7 p.m. daily.  The cooperator meetings (Mon-Wed-Fri at 10 a.m.) will be available to watch via Zoom (https://usfs.zoomgov.com/j/1602646317).

The North Complex began with the Claremont, Bear and Sheep fires. The latter broke out on the Plumas National Forest, but quickly pushed into Lassen County forcing evacuations around Susanville and destroying several homes. (It was broken off from the North Complex and handled separately).

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The Claremont Fire broke out Aug. 17 as the result of a lightning strike. It forced evacuations and threatened the communities of East Quincy, La Porte Road, the Highway 70 corridor, Spring Garden, Greenhorn, Cromberg and Sloat during the past weeks. Only one outbuilding has been lost during the fire.

The Bear Fire also broke out Aug. 17 following a lightning strike. Initially it was left to burn because it wasn’t immediately a threat to people or property; it was in steep, rugged terrain; and resources were scarce due to the fires burning across the state. So though it held at 50 acres for a while, it grew to over 12,000 acres and threatened the communities of Bucks Lake, Haskins Valley, Tollgate and Meadow Valley. For full evacuation lists go to:

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.