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A view of the fire from Highway 70; the debris and rocks landing on the roadway are a threat to firefighters and other public safety officials in the area. Photo courtesy of Quincy Office of the CHP

Oct. 3 North Complex Fire: Guess who’s coming back?

A familiar team and face are returning to manage the North Complex Fire. After the required break, the Type 1 Incident Team 4 team is back. The team became known to locals during its 21-day run working on the North Complex Fire, even resulting in a T-shirt in honor of Jake Cagle, the systems operations chief, who became a daily presence on social media.

The transition from the Type 2 Rocky Mountains team will occur at 6 p.m. today.

As for the fire itself, it is at 317,479 acres and is 83 percent contained. This morning’s briefing is almost a carbon copy of yesterday’s. The perimeter is holding well except in the Highway 70 corridor. That is where most of the resources will be focused today, including air resources. Due to falling debris and the heavy firefighter presence, the Highway remains closed.

Mandatory evacuations remain in place for the Bucks Lake area and portions of the Highway 70 corridor. (See latest information from the sheriff below.)

For the third day in a row Bucks Lake residents are being allowed in to retrieve belongs and weatherize cabins during a brief window from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will have that opportunity again tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 4.

Meteorologists are predicting a change late next week, with even the possibility of some rain next weekend.

To date, the cost of the firefight is pegged at $76 million — and that’s just for the portion that was formerly the Claremont and the Bear, now the the south and north zones — it doesn’t include the west zone near Oroville.

Air quality in the Quincy area is in the unhealthy range this morning, with surrounding areas also impacted. That trend is expected to continue.

The fire which began Aug. 17, is now ranked fifth in California as being the the deadliest fire in modern history; fifth for being the largest fire, and sixth for the being the most destructive.

In the west zone, please see CAL FIRE Team 4 updates for more up to date information at: www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2020/8/18/north-complex-fire/

Video operational updates and live broadcasts for all portions of the fire can be viewed on Plumas National Forest’s Facebook page. 

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).

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.





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