Oct. 25 North Complex Fire: Fire at 96 percent containment, but here come the winds

The North Complex Fire is now 96 percent contained, but a Red Flag warning is in effect today until 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, due to strong winds and low humidity. Winds in the fire area are expected to pick up beginning this afternoon and may blow in lower elevation areas including the spike camp at Little Grass Valley Reservoir and in Quincy.  The public is asked to be very careful with any activity that could produce sparks.

A cold front is expected to come in this evening and temperatures are expected in the teens Monday morning.  The winds combined with the cold air means that fuel moistures will not recover and fuels in and around the fire area will be very dry.

The other focus continues to be suppression repair. The priorities are infrastructure, natural resources and watershed areas.

Resource Advisors (READs) are embedded with the operations group so that sensitive habitats, cultural resources and hazards such as buried cables are avoided.  Many of the fire lines built on the west side of the fire perimeter have now been repaired.  Repairs are close to completion on the north and east side of Buck’s Lake.  Some of the heavy equipment – dozers, masticators, excavators and skidders — are being moved to the northeast perimeter of the fire to work on priorities in these areas.

Only a portion of the Plumas National Forest is closed due to the fire. Four fifths of the Forest is 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 the logging trucks around La Porte Road.

The fire remains at 318,930 acres and is 96 percent contained.

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

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