According the the Chips fire Saturday morning update firefighters worked through the night achieving a goal to burnout a 4 mile section of the eastern flank above Muggins Creek area.
Efforts continue in preparing firing lines for another burn tonight that will connect containment lines with control lines around the eastern fire perimeter. Firefighters constructing and mopping up lines will be reinforced by aerial resources dropping retardant outside containment lines.
The burnout operation utilized winds out of the northeast to push the fire into the interior of the burn area approximately 1000 feet.
This burnout will achieve firefighting goals of reducing fuel loads in the area to limit the fire’s intensity along the perimeter.
Firefighters working around Muggins Creek will prepare firing lines today to connect the northern section of the burnout operation with the southern portion of the fire around Caribou. That burnout operation will be completed tonight if conditions stay favorable.
Winds will gust up to 20 miles per hour in the burn area today as firefighter begin mop-up on containment lines in the east and continue mop-up in the north and west sections of the burn.
Weather continues to be a factor in directing fire behavior with high temperatures and wind drying out ground fuels, and large conifers weakened by drought conditions.
Winds are predicted to gust up to 30 miles per hour Sunday which prompted the decision to execute a larger burnout operation in the east. With the wind pushing fire to the edge of containment lines, several spots have been identified, including an approximately 100 acre slop-over in the Yellow Creek area.
Containment lines have been constructed around all of the spots that were identified and crews continue to patrol containment lines looking or spots and strengthening control lines during mop-up.
The western flank of the fire continues to be staffed by several hot shot crews who stay in the area, camping near the fire line. Crews working from north to south continue work into the Chips Creek drainage, mopping up 300 feet from the fire line where possible.
Additional crews will work from south to north, heading to Mount Hope, constructing hand line in steep and rugged terrain. They will be aided by an Infra-red mapping tool that helps to identify hot spots. Helicopters continue to provide air support to areas where it is unsafe for firefighters to engage the fire directly.
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.
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
Additional Fire Information: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3052/ or call (530) 283-3593 and (530) 283-3288 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Chips Fire, Plumas County