Chips Fire Update 8 AM August 6, 2012
Incident: Chips Wildfire
Plumas and Lassen National Forests
Fire Update - August 6, 2012 8:00 AM
Chips Fire Information
Fire Information Phones: (530)283-7882/-7883/-7884
Date started: July 29, 2012
Number of Personnel: 742
Location: 2 miles Northwest of Belden, CA
Percent Contained: 0%
Estimated Containment Date: August 21, 2012
Water Tenders: 16
Cause: Under Investigation
Helicopters: 4 Type 1, 2 Type 2 and 2 Type 3
Cost to Date: $ 4,100,000
Air Tankers: Available if Needed
Structures Threatened: 26 Residence; 4 Commercial
Injuries to Date: 4
Growth of the Chips Fire slowed last night by increased humidity and calm winds. Crews were able to complete containment lines around two spot fires along the fire's north flank and will work to improve containment lines along the entire north flank. On the fire's east flank, crews began construction of containment lines around a spot fire that crossed the North Fork of the Feather River in the Red Hill area. Crews will work aggressively today to contain this spot fire with the assistance of helicopters and air tankers (when visibility allows). Engine crews will continue to improve and hold containment lines along the Caribou Road and Highway 70 where the fire continues to back down slope. Crews are continuing to construct and improve containment lines on the fire's western flank.
Smoke is expected to hang in the Feather River Canyon this morning and stall the fire's growth. Winds are expected to shift from out of the southwest by late morning. The southwest winds will likely push the fire and smoke towards the northeast.
The California Department of Transportation is implementing traffic controls along Highway 70 due to safety concerns. Travelers should check Highway 70 conditions regularly (800-427-ROAD / www.dot.ca.gov). Motorists should expect delays and need to anticipate firefighting personnel and apparatus on the road in the vicinity of the fire. Smoke will continue to be a health concern for the public. Residents are encourage to visit the "Protect Yourself from Smoke" websites for smoke protection information at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/. For tips on how to prepare for a potential evacuation and what to do if you are evacuated, residents in or near evacuation areas are encourage to visit the "Ready, Set, Go" website at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/article/3052/15480/.
Evacuations and Closures:
Butt Valley Reservoir recreation facilities administered by PG&E (Ponderosa Flat Campground, Cool Springs Campground, Ray Adams Day Use and Boat Launch as well as Yellow Creek Campground) are closed due to the fire. Belden, Maggie's Trailer Park, and Little Haven are under a precautionary evacuation notice. Voluntary evacuation notices have also been issued for the Rush Creek area. The Plumas County Sheriffs' Office is also encouraging residents along Highway 70 from Tobin to Twain to begin developing evacuation plans. A voluntary evacuation is in place for areas south of Highway 89 that includes Butt Valley Reservoir and Humbug Reservoir. A hard closure remains in place along Caribou Road from Highway 70 to Butt Lake. Gansner Bar, North Fork, and Queen Lily USFS campgrounds remain closed. Communities of Meadow Valley, Chester, Canyon Dam, Greenville, and Susanville area are not threatened at this time, nor are those to the far west including Paradise, Jarbo Gap, and Concow. A fire closure area has been established for both the Plumas and Lassen National Forests and will be in place until the area is safe. Please see the Forest Orders and closure maps on InciWeb (address above). Pacific Crest Trail hikers may bypass the affected area by hiking Highway 70/89 or catching a bus with Plumas Transit to Chester, CA (weekdays only). Motorists are encouraged to use caution on Highway 70.