Firefighters worked on a burnout Thursday night to protect the community of Seneca and strengthen containment lines on the eastern flank of fire around Kirkham ravine. This area was prepared for burnout by heavy aircraft, including a DC-10, which dropped approximately 25,830 gallons of retardant outside containment lines.
On the fire line, crews initiated a low intensity backburn to remove the fuel in the area and secure a containment line around the north fork of the Feather River near Seneca in preparation for high winds through the weekend.
Containment and mop-up continued on small spot fires that resulted from yesterday’s gusty afternoon winds. Firefighters were able to identify several spots in and outside of containment lines around the fire perimeter and immediately begin working them with hand crews and engines providing water to the areas.
Each spot identified was contained and crews continue to patrol fire lines.
Weather across the fire area should return to seasonal averages today which will allow firefighters to prepare for higher winds this weekend.
The burnout operation started last night is a critical location within contingency lines to prepare for the strong southwest winds on Sunday and Monday which could gust up to 30 miles per hour. Crews will strengthen control lines by continuing mop-up operations into the fire area around the perimeter.
In the southwestern section of the fire several hot shot crews will work on containment lines along the fire’s edge. Those teams will continue constructing hand line around the Chips Creek drainage which continues to produce heat and creep west.
Because of the topography of the area, infra-red mapping will also be utilized to identify hot spots and support firefighting efforts on the ground.
Smoke: Smoke will continue to be present in the fire area and surrounding communities. With several large fires in the area contributing to lower air quality, residents can experience eye irritation, respiratory issues and aggravated heart and lung health problems. These can impact children and older adults more severely.
Residents are encouraged to get more information on air quality in their area by visiting “Daily Air Quality Conditions” link in “Related Links” section. Additionally, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers general health information for people in and around wildfire areas. For more information on how to mitigate the effects of smoke and other fire related issues, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/
Evacuations and Closures: No changes have occurred to evacuations at this time. The Plumas County Sheriff’s Department continues to enforce Mandatory Evacuations for the communities of Canyon Dam and the Big Meadows area. A Voluntary Evacuation is in place for Rush Creek, and an Advisory is in effect for Prattville residents for the potential threat of the fire to the area.
An evacuation Center continues to be available at the Chester Memorial Hall on Gay Street. For more information, please go to: http://www.countyofplumas.com/CivicAlerts.aspx AID=536
Community Meetings: A community meeting will be held tonight at 5:00 p.m. at the Twain Community Park, 130 Twain Store Road, Twain, CA.
Additional Fire Information: Call (530) 283-3593 and (530) 283-3288 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Chips Fire, Plumas County