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Firefighters gather to work on the Bear Fire. Photo courtesy of Haskins Valley Inn

Sept. 4: Bear Fire keeps residents on edge

8 p.m. UPDATE: The Bear Fire is now 12,569 acres and 26 percent contained.

After a smoke inversion lifted today, fire behavior increased in a small area on the northern flank of the Bear Fire, but that also improved visibility for helicopters to make water drops to support the ground crews there.

Tonight, firefighters plan to continue strategic firing operations with the goal of bringing fire from the western corner of the Claremont Fire to the eastern corner of the Bear Fire.

9:10 a.m. UPDATE: Today a smoke inversion is expected which will decrease smoke column activity, however it may lift in the afternoon which might increase fire behavior. With clear skies, aircraft will continue to support ground crews.

To continue strategic firing operations in inaccessible terrain, drones might be used to carry out tactical ignitions when conditions permit.

For a more in-depth description on tactical operations of the North Complex Fire, please watch the latest operational video updates at: www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas

Original story: For the most part the Bear Fire is going according to plan. The fire remains checked up in Willow Creek to the west and the Middle Fork of the Feather River to the south. But it continued its push north into the Fourth Creek drainage and east toward Pigeon Roost Creek with prevailing westerly winds.

Part of the plan is to merge the Bear with the Claremont on the Bear’s eastern edge. Firing options were used yesterday to facilitate the plan until winds interfered. Once they are merged, firefighters will use the Middle Fork of the Feather River as a containment line to the south, and are building additional lines for further containment.

Meadow Valley residents reported seeing crews and engines in their neighborhoods with some worried that mean the fire was advancing, while others finding comfort in the presence of engines and crews. The Forest Service told residents firefighters are driving through neighborhoods to familiarize themselves with the area. They are also prepping businesses and homes as a precaution.

The fire is now 12,154 acres and 29 percent contained.

Crews continue to work on structure protection measures in Haskins Valley, Bucks Lake, Highlands communities to the northwest of the Bear Fire. An advisory remains in effect for those areas.

Very unhealthy and hazardous air quality has returned and is expected to remain for a few days. 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.

The Bear Fire broke out Aug. 17 following a lightning strike. Thus far no structures have been lost.



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