UPDATED 11:45 am.: As of 11 a.m. today, the Plumas County Sheriff has lifted all evacuation notices — advisory and mandatory — for areas in Plumas County affected by the North Complex Fire. This means the residents of the Bucks Lake and Feather River Canyon areas are allowed to return home. Cooler temperatures, high humidity and less wind than previously predicted all contributed to the decision. (See the full notice below.)
There are three bits of good news to share this morning with regard to the North Complex Fire:
- It’s 90 percent contained.
- Highway 70 is open in both directions without traffic control in Plumas County due to the fire. (There is an area of one-way traffic in the Butte County portion near Pulga.)
- Bucks Lake residents might be allowed home Sunday.
The latter will depend on how winds impact the fire today and tomorrow. Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns said that he has been discussing the situation daily with the fire’s incident command and hopes to lift the mandatory evacuation order as soon as it is deemed safe.
Last night, crews continued mop up and patrolled the fire perimeter. The fire remains within its containment lines and east of Highway 70. There are still areas of active fire within the containment lines, so firefighters are alert for any runs. Crews will continue with mop up, patrol and extinguishing those pockets of fire. They will also be evaluating the needs and prioritizing areas for suppression repair.
There will be one operational briefing video posted daily to the Plumas National Forest Facebook Page. Team Planning meetings (daily at 7 p.m.) and 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 Fire is now 318,930 acres and 90 percent contained, the third consecutive day that it has notched up 1 percent.
Some Canyon residents remain under mandatory evacuation orders as do Bucks Lake residents (though that may change Sunday).
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:
- Butte County Sheriff’s Office: https://www.facebook.com/bcsonews
- Plumas County Sheriff’s Office: https://www.facebook.com/plumascountysheriff
- Yuba County Sheriff’s Office: https://www.facebook.com/yubacountysheriff
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.