Sept. 20 North Complex Fire: Now more than 60 percent contained

The containment numbers on the North Complex Fire are slowly rising, reaching 62 percent as of last night, with 291,200 acres burned. With 3,089 personnel on the fire, it’s not anywhere near ideal, but it’s enough that attention can quickly shift to where it’s needed most — and right now that’s bolstering the areas that could threaten the communities of Bucks Lake, Haskins, Toll Gate and Meadow Valley. They continue to be under a mandatory evacuation, but if progress continues as it has over the past couple of days, it’s anticipated residents will soon be allowed to return home.

With clearer weather yesterday, aircraft were available to assist ground resources on the North Zone with a few spot fires around Red Mountain Road. The constructed line through Grizzly Big Creek to the south of Grizzly Forebay was tied into previous line from the Bucks Fire back into Oro Quincy Road. The night shift conducted ignitions along Grizzly Big Creek to secure the eastern portion and reduce threat to the previously mentioned communities.

In the South Zone, the fire’s holding well within the perimeter along the Sly Creek Reservoir to Onion Valley, but it will continue to be monitored and patrolled. Resources have begun to shift toward firing operations along Cleghorn Road, west of LaPorte Road. The eastern portion of the fire continues to hold within containment lines, though residual smoke from burning stump holes or heavy logs may be observed within the interior.

In the West Zone, fire activity increased around the Forbestown area. The death toll on the fire remains at 15 and the count for damaged or destroyed structures has reached 1,478. (All of the deaths and all but one of the structures are within this area.) Please see CAL FIRE Team 4 updates for more up to date information at:

The Plumas National Forest remains temporarily closed, but the situation is continually being assessed.


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

Air quality has improved, but can change quickly depending on the wind and location. Currently the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups.

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. An evacuation order remains in effect for all of those areas and structure protection remains in the area.


For full evacuation lists go to:

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.