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Wildfire Update: 60,000 Acres Burning Across the Northstate


Good morning and welcome to your SusanvilleStuff northeast California fire update. There are three major fires burning this morning in our region, already consuming more than 60,000 acres, and with the high temperatures and afternoon winds predicted for the next few days firefighters have their work cut out for them.

Additionally there have been reports circulating through the media that Susanville might experience power outages directly related to the Chips fire.

“LMUD does not anticipate any fire related outage due to the Chips fire currently burning in the Beldon area,” explains Lassen Municipal Utility District’s Energy Services Manager Theresa Phillips, “Pacific Gas and Electric is bracing for outages that may occur in the Quincy area, however, this does not affect the LMUD/PG&E feed from Table Mountain to Westwood.”

According to Phillips, LMUD officials have been in contact with PG&E personnel who have assured the utility that should any situation arise that affects LMUD customers they will be notified as soon as possible.

For the most current information click here and follow the link to InciWeb

Here’s a rundown on the latest information on the fires currently burning.

A helicopter makes a water drop on the Lost fire - M. Dolan, BLM

The Lost Fire

This lightning caused fire is burning in sagebrush, juniper, mountain mahogany and tall grass. According to the overnight fire update the fire has now burned 45,288 acres and is expected to be contained by Monday.

The fire continues to burn northeast into the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area and has burned into the High Rock Canyon wilderness area. Resource concerns in the area include critical habitat for sage grouse and other wildlife, federally protected wild horses, and multiple cultural and historical sites.

The fire is also impacting several livestock allotments, which are important to local ranchers and the economy of Surprise Valley.

Fire managers are working closely with area resource protection staff to mitigate fire damage, and expect the fire to burn throughout the night with moderate activity with a slight increase in relative humidity recovery. Most of the fire activity will be confined to the NCA and the northeast fire edge.

Advisories and Closures:

  • Nevada State Route 34 is closed from Nevada State Route 8A (continuation of CA State Route 299) to the Lost Creek Road.
  • The public is advised to leave recreation areas in the High Rock Canyon area and to be advised of fire activity and personnel.

The Reading Fire

The Reading fire is burning 14 miles south of Old Station in Lassen National Park. The fire, which is expected to be contained this Saturday, is burning in mixed conifer and red fir overstory with pine mat manzanita and a variable understory fuel loading of dead and down materials.

The fire has consumed 3,600 acres and shut down the main road through the park and all park trails.

A spot fire on the north side of Badger Mountain got established yesterday and was aggressively attacked with air tankers. Retardant drops were used on USFS lands.

The main park highway continues to be closed for six miles from Chaos Crags to Summit Lake. Lost Creek and Crags campgrounds remain closed. Portions of the Pacific Crest, Paradise Meadows, and Terrace Lakes trails remain closed.

Today the firefighters will continue direct and indirect line construction and scout for additional secondary control lines. Evaluate and prepare for structure protection.

The Chips fire from Buckhorn Lookout - Mike Gates

The Chips fire

1,108 firefighters are working on the 18,681 acre Chips fire burning just to the northwest of Belden, in Plumas County.

The fire is actively burning in rugged, and mostly inaccessible, terrain along ridges of the Feather River canyon. Crews made progress with burnout operations on the northern flank of the fire yesterday. They will continue to mopup, hold and patrol existing fire line today.

  • Cal Trans continues to clean up debris that is falling onto the highway.
  • Gansner Bar, North Fork and Queen Lily campgrounds and USFS road 27N76 remain closed.
  • The Little Grizzly dispersed camping area and High Lake OHV Area are closed.
  • The communities of Belden, Little Haven and Maggie’s Trailer Park are on a precautionary evacuation notice.
  • A voluntary evacuation notice has been issued for the Rush Creek area and the area south of Highway 89 that includes Butt Valley Reservoir and Humbug Reservoir.
  • Residents along Highway 70 from Tobin to Twain are encouraged to begin developing evacuation plans. A one mile, one lane traffic closure remains in effect on Highway 70.
  • Motorists should use caution on Hwy 70 in the fire area. Expect delays and traffic controls.
  • Portions of the Pacific Crest, Yellow Creek, Ben Lomond, and Indian Creek hiking trails remain closed.


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