Sept. 5: Backfiring continues on Bear Fire
8:30 p.m. UPDATE: The North Complex Fire, which includes the Claremont and Bear, grew by approximately 900 acres Saturday, due to an inversion that lifted this afternoon increasing fire behavior. Smoke from interior pockets of the fire increased as the fire made an eastern run from Grizzly Creek in between the Bear and Claremont Fires toward the Claremont Fire. Some long-range spotting occurred, and crews are monitoring and patrolling.
Firefighters made good progress holding the fire within containment lines from the Middle Fork of the Feather River to the eastern flank of the fire. On the south side, containment line is holding well as crews continue mopping up. An infrared flight today revealed little heat along the southwestern edge of the fire.
On the northwestern side around Lookout Rock, fire behavior was calm enough for firefighters to directly engage with the flames. The fire is also holding well along Willow Creek as the fire moves toward constructed bulldozer lines.
Adverse winds prevented firefighters from conducting strategic firing operations between the edges of the Bear and Claremont fires, but are hopeful to continue tonight when the more favorable down canyon winds arrive.
Original story: The Bear Fire is now 12,569 acres and 26 percent contained and very close to merging with the Claremont Fire as planned. This may be the last separate post for the Bear Fire.
When the smoke lifted yesterday, fire behavior increased in a small area on the northern flank of the Bear Fire, but the improved visibility allowed helicopters to make water drops to support the ground crews.
Overnight firefighters continued 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. Crews will also begin firing along the 28 Road to stop the fire’s spread in that direction, but are building secondary dozer lines as well. 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
Crews continue to work on structure protection measures in Haskins Valley, Bucks Lake, Highlands and Meadow Valley.
Very unhealthy and hazardous air quality is expected to remain for a few days, with the first clearer skies forecast for Tuesday. There are 1,260 personnel assigned to the North Complex, which includes the Bear and Claremont fires, as well as other fires in the Indian Valley that have been contained but require continued mop up.
The Bear Fire broke out Aug. 17 following a lightning strike. Thus far no structures have been lost.