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The Quincy High School parking lot provides a respite for tired firefighters from the Penryn and Rocklin fire departments. Photo by Janet Radtke

Sept. 3: Claremont Fire UPDATE – containment up slightly

8:15 p.m.UPDATE: As of this evening the Claremont Fire is at 24,374 acres and is 49 percent contained.

Today crews focused on building fireline around the pair of slopovers west of Claremont Trail. Firefighters got lines and hose lays around the northernmost of the two while making good progress on the south one. Personnel will remain on this portion of the fire overnight and work to continue today’s progress.

Part of the plan for containment is connecting the Claremont and Bear fires via Forest Service road systems and dozer lines, and crews were able to start tactical firing operations heading west from the Claremont along Forest Road 23N70Y as part of the plan. Firing operations only take place when personnel, terrain and weather align and is used to solidify existing containment lines.

The rest of the fire remained quiet as crews worked to mop up any lingering hot spots and gain depth in containment lines.

Original story: Hotshot crews worked overnight to stop the eastern spread of the fire, which crossed containment lines yesterday. They are focused on Rock Creek and west of the repeater site. As a result, the containment numbers went down. The fire is now 24,343 acres and 47 percent contained (down from 59 percent.) That was the bad news.

The good news is that a large portion of the fire — from behind Quincy, through East Quincy to Greenhorn is contained with no heat in that area of the fire. There also were no issues reported in the Spring Garden/Sloat areas. And for the first time in three days, there were no spot fires over the south edge of the fire.

After a brief respite Monday and Tuesday, very unhealthy and hazardous air quality has returned. The effects will be felt beyond the immediate vicinity. Smoke will settle into valleys across the entire region from Susanville to Reno to Lake Tahoe to Grass Valley to Oroville to Chester. Heavy smoke will impact areas between Greenville and Portola.

Today’s winds are forecast to be out of the north and east, which will test uncontained fireline. Upcoming temperatures are expected to be very hot and an excessive heat watch has been issued by the National Weather Service. Dry, stagnant weather is forecast into the weekend.

All evacuees have returned home, but remain under an advisory. All are advised to use caution while driving in these areas due to the continued presence of firefighters and equipment.

Thus far on the Claremont, only one outbuilding has been destroyed (on upper La Porte Road), but no homes have been lost. There are 1,773 personnel assigned to the North Complex, which includes the Claremont, Bear and Sheep Fires. Initially a majority of those resources were assigned to the Sheep, but as that fire is now 71 percent contained, those resources are shifting this direction.

The Claremont Fire broke out Aug. 17 as the result of a lightning strike. It has threatened the communities of East Quincy, La Porte Road, the Highway 70 corridor, Spring Garden, Greenhorn, Cromberg and Sloat. It is part of the North Complex of fires burning on the Plumas National Forest. Below is the most recent evacuation orders for the fire and a map of the fire area.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

 

 

 

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