Oct. 23 North Complex Fire: Close to full containment

The phrase that stand out of this morning’s briefing from the North Complex Fire Incident Command: “Fortunately the fire was stopped and the fire perimeter lines are now well established; the fire is close to containment.” That is good news as the fire continues to remain stubbornly at 95 percent, just shy of the desired 100 percent containment.

Now the main work continues to be suppression repair. Handlines, dozer lines, damaged roads and areas cleared for safety zones or staging areas are being repaired. While fighting this fire, numerous contingency lines were constructed to stop the spread.  Many of the contingency lines — dozer and handlines — are outside of the fire perimeter. The Forest Closure area currently includes the unburned areas within these contingency lines. As the damage from fighting the fire is repaired, Plumas National Forest leadership will be re-assessing the closure order, especially in these unburned areas and will adjust in the future.

Only a portion of the Plumas National Forest is closed with two-thirds open for recreation. In the areas of Forest closures, Forest Service roads and campgrounds are closed. Burned trees, smoldering stump holes, heavy equipment being moved around the fire area are some of the immediate public safety issues in the closed burn area. Longer term hazards include landslides and flash flooding caused by erosion or suppression activities not yet repaired in the closure area can lead to serious injury or death without warning. Law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please use caution as fire personnel continue 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. For a list of closures go to: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/plumas/alerts-notices

The Red Flag Warning remains in effect through today at 5 p.m. Winds from north to east at 10-20 mph, gusting to 45 mph are expected. (Weather forecasters are looking at another possible wind event Sunday into Monday.)

The fire remains at 318,930 acres and is 95 percent contained.

The North Complex Fire (originally the Claremont and Bear fires) broke out Aug. 17 due to lighting strikes.

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