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Smoky skies and hazardous air quality continue to plague the area and likely will until Tuesday. Photo courtesy of USFS

Sept. 4: Claremont Fire-hazardous air remains an issue

8p.m. UPDATE: The Claremont Fire is now 24,561 acres and 50 percent contained.

Firefighters made good progress today holding the fire within containment lines, as well as progressed with planned firing operations and the strengthening of contingency lines. Some spotting did occur, but firefighters were able to quickly contain the spot fires.

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: According to the Forest Service briefing this morning, the fire held well within containment lines last night and firefighters made good progress gaining approximately one-half mile of firing operations to bring the Claremont Fire’s west edge toward the Bear Fire’s eastern edge. This area is where most of the active fire activity is and remains the priority for placing resources. Personnel patrolled containment line throughout the fire’s perimeter overnight, and continued to gain more depth in mopping up.

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: The smoke is here and will continue to be here for the next few days. Wind direction, heat and the smoke from both the Claremont and Bear fires are all combining for very unhealthy to hazardous air quality. Even as crews work to contain the perimeter, fire is still burning within the footprint.

As of this morning the Claremont Fire is at 24,330 acres and is 49 percent contained.

Yesterday and overnight 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.

Part of the Forest Service’s plan for containment is connecting the Claremont and Bear fires via Forest Service road systems, dozer lines, and the Middle Fork of the Feather River. Crews began tactical firing operations heading west from the Claremont.

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

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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