Oct. 8 North Complex Fire: Now 88 percent contained — getting closer

The North Complex Fire is now 318,930 acres and 88 percent contained, the second consecutive day that it has notched up 1 percent.

Last night was also a carbon copy of the day before, as crews continued mop up operations and patrolling the fire perimeter. The fire remained within its containment lines and east of Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon.

Today, firefighters will continue mopping up and working containment lines, while improving the contingency lines along the north and northwest side of State Route 70, from Mill Creek toward the Pacific Crest Trail as well as the Bald Eagle Ridge system.

Although fire behavior has been reduced, (a credit to firefighters), areas of active burning within the fire perimeter will continue to occur. Aggressive runs through red fir stringers and slope-driven runs to ridge tops are possible. Dry fuels and winds pose a threat for spotting across uncontained line. Crews will concentrate on mopping up heat sources in these areas.


Gusty south to southwest winds of up to 22 mph are expected over the next few days ahead of a developing storm. These winds will test the fire lines. Rain is anticipated by Saturday, though it’s not shaping up to be a big storm.

Highway 70 is currently open between Jarbo Gap and the Greenville Wye. The current traffic control is from the North Fork Feather River Bridge to east of Tobin (approximately 4 miles).

Some Canyon residents remain under mandatory evacuation orders as do Bucks Lake residents. (For full list of closure information see Sheriff’s order below.)

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.