The Plumas National Forest released the latest on the fire this morning, April 10:
Firefighters are continuing to work on fire that expanded yesterday from the pile burning near Antelope Lake on the Mount Hough Ranger District of the Plumas National Forest.
Firefighters using GPS measure the fire to be 42 acres. There is hose and dozer line surrounding the fire, with the objective to keep it within the project area for the Moonlight Fire Restoration Plan.
Response was robust yesterday to prevent further spread from predicted winds from the forecasted change in weather later today, and to ensure the fire stays within the project area and did not cross onto neighboring private forest lands.
“We appreciate the support and assistance from CALFire and our partners, as well as contract firefighters from Firestorm yesterday and today,” said Plumas National Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer Mitch Wilson. “Securing this project fire quickly is allowing resources to be available across the Forest to respond if there are fires from the predicted winds.”
The pile burning project near Antelope Lake was initiated March 17 with ignitions completed around March 21. The pile burning was part of more than 1,000 acres of fuels reduction prescribed burning in preparation for reforestation under the Moonlight Fire Restoration Plan.
Plumas National Forest and Firestorm firefighters checked the project daily with patrols, ensuring fire activity is within prescription and prepared to take actions to keep the fire within the project area if needed. This included hand feeling burned piles for residual heat and watching for embers or increased fire activity. Additional infrared monitoring enhanced this and helped with yesterday’s response.
“Public and firefighter safety are our highest priority and as part of any of our prescribed burning operations we include plans to respond and extinguish fires if conditions shift to being outside of prescription or to prevent fire from leaving the project area,” Wilson said. “Our fire managers and wildland firefighters responded accordingly yesterday, and with additional help from CALFire and contract firefighters were successful in implementing those plans.”
Area residents and visitors will continue to see increased firefighter traffic in the area as several engines, a dozer and other resources continue to work in the project area today.
Smoke is expected to be visible not only in the immediate area, but in surrounding communities, including Indian Valley, Susanville and parts of Lassen County. Drivers in the area should use caution.
The swings in spring weather – from highs in the 80s to rain and snow – can result in rapid changes in conditions and gusty seasonal winds. The area is also significantly below average snowpack, resulting in drying conditions earlier than usual.
Even with precipitation in the forecast this week, area residents and visitors are asked to be careful with anything that can spark a wildfire.
Further updates will be provided if there are significant changes in fire activity or conditions.