Walker Fire now in the restoration phase

The party is all but over.

As this newspaper went to press, the Walker Fire, which broke out Sept. 4, 11 miles east of Taylorsville, was 98 percent contained.

Last Friday, the fire-fighting camp that sprung up in Taylorsville under the management of a California Incident Management Team 4, disassembled.

A Level 10 team has assumed fire management and the Incident Command Post has moved to the fire camp already located at Four Corners near Beckwourth in Eastern Plumas.

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The fire may continue to smolder and burn in heavier timbered areas well within the containment lines until winter sets in.

At the height of the fire more than 2,000 personnel were assigned to it, with crews battling from the ground and the air. It burned 54, 612 acres and destroyed nine structures, including two cabins.

The fire’s cause remains under investigation, but it is known to be human caused.

The focus is now on restoration as fire personnel continue suppression repair activities with hand crews and excavators. Crews are working closely with resource advisers to restore dozer lines in the fire area and return the slope back to its natural condition by pulling topsoil and vegetation into the disturbed areas where the fire line was constructed.

The Forest Closure Order will remain in effect as many hazards still exist within the fire area including fire weakened trees, rolling materials and poor road conditions.

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Hazard tree removal continues along many of the roads and wood chippers are also being utilized to remove brush and slash from the burn area.

As the Level 4 team left the area last week, its public information officers reiterated that the public was its first priority.

“We were happy to provide you with fire updates and answer your questions on the trapline, at the community meeting, over the phone, by email or on Facebook,” they wrote in a goodbye letter. “We enjoyed giving an impromptu presentation to the 4-H group and giving camp tours to middle-schoolers.”

The Walker Fire had the distinction of being the state’s largest fire and the number one priority in the nation.