The USDA issued a statement on the Beckwourth Complex Fire for the morning of Saturday, July 10.
The Dotta Fire has blacked 670 acres and is 80 percent contained. The Sugar Fire has burned 54,421 acres and is 8 percent contained. The Beckwourth Complex Fire (both fires together) has burned 55,091 acres and is 8 percent contained. A total of 1,256 personnel are battling the blaze — 34 crews, 107 engines, 15 helicopters, 17 dozers and 15 water tenders.
The Dotta Fire within the Beckwourth Complex exhibited no growth, while the Sugar Fire had intense growth of over 16,365 acres, progressing further northeast reaching Constantia Road and spotting within one mile of Doyle Grade Road. Significant resources are staged in the area for structure protection, which is currently under a mandatory evacuation order among several other communities. This extreme fire behavior is due to several factors coming alignment with critically dry and receptive fuels, hot temperatures, topography arrangement and southwest winds funneling through them.
After the inversion lifted yesterday afternoon, the fire developed a highly visible, large pyrocumulonimbus cloud, with reports of lightning on the east side of the fire.
Indirect bulldozer line was constructed in several areas for structure protection, focusing on the south/southeastern flank of the fire behind community of Chilcoot, and the northeastern flank below residences on Constantia Road. Additional areas on the northwestern flank of the fire were scouted for constructing indirect lines down toward Dixie Valley to box the main body of the fire in, taking into consideration how frequent the spotting behavior is.
During night operations, firefighters were successful in conducting strategic firing operations from bulldozer lines constructed on the south flank of the fire to guide fire back up into the main body of it.
High potential for extremely active fire behavior with group torching, long-range spotting and pyrocumulous clouds development with powerful downdrafts which also increases intensity of fire behavior.
Air operations are robust on this incident, including fixed and rotor wing. A night-flying helicopter is also available dedicated for any potential emergency firefighter extraction.
A damage assessment team has been ordered to validate reports of structures damaged/lost.
Virtual community meeting
A virtual community meeting will be held this evening at 7 p.m. and streamed on the Plumas National Forest Facebook page.
A new evacuation went into effect yesterday in Washoe County, Nevada, while evacuations in Lassen and Plumas counties changed. Check your local county’s social media pages for the latest on evacuations in your area, and be sure to register for your county’s CodeRed emergency alert system:
- Lassen County: public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/B69B31DD99B6?isMobile=false
- Plumas County: public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/6EB9E0DB3133
- Washoe County: public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/169EBBD0A3AE
- Lassen County Fairgrounds: 195 Russell Ave. Susanville.
- Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center: 1350 N Wells Ave, Reno, Nevada.
There is a forest closure order in effect surrounding the fire’s perimeter, which includes several roads. Monitor Caltrans’s website or Twitter feed for updated highway closure information.
Forest closure inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7601/
Today will be hotter and dryer, with low relative humidity and highly receptive fuels. Winds will be slightly lighter, out of the southwest and gusting around 20 miles per hour. With the forecasted heat wave this weekend, temperatures are expected to be 15 degrees higher than normal, up to 100 degrees in the lower elevations. Poor humidity recoveries are expected at night.
Beneath downdrafts produced by the collapsing of potential pyrocumulous clouds, significant smoke will be present in the most active areas of the fire. Visit airnow.gov for the most current smoke conditions in your area.