Plumas and Lassen National Forests
Fire Update ‐ August 7, 2012 8:00 AM
Chips Fire Information
New Chips Fire Information Phones
(530)283‐3593 and 530‐283‐3288
Date started: July 29, 2012 Number of Personnel: 765
Location: 2 miles Northwest of Belden, CA Crews: 18
Size: 15,334 Engines: 28
Percent Contained: 10% Dozers: 8
Estimated Containment Date: August 21, 2012 Water Tenders: 12
Cause: Under Investigation Helicopters: 4 Type 1, 2 Type 2 and 2 Type 3
Cost to Date: $ 5,200,000 Air Tankers: Available if Needed
Structures Threatened: 26 Residence; 4 Commercial Injuries to Date: 7
Firefighters will be challenged by critical fire weather conditions that are expected to push the Chips Fire in a north to northeast direction. Additional crews, engines and dozers are positioned to aggressively attack any spot fires that may occur. Helicopters and air tankers will be used to assist ground resources where needed, and as smoke conditions allow.
Crews have begun mop‐up of fire lines along Highway 70 in the Belden area where containment has been achieved. Crews will monitor for spot fires along the Feather River Canyon with the assistance of helicopters. Line construction on the fire’s western flank continues. A new fire near the junction of Highways 89 and 70 was suppressed last night by crews working the Chips Fire. Containment objectives for the Chips Fire are to keep the fire south of Humbug Summit Road, north of Highway 70 and Tobin, west of the Butt Lake transmission lines, and East of Phillbrook Reservoir. Contingency lines beyond the primary containment lines are planned, and crews are starting to construct contingency
lines on the fire’s northern flank.
Fire Behavior and Smoke:
Critical fire weather conditions are expected today with extremely dry fuels and strong southwest winds. Smoke is expected to remain in the Feather River Canyon during morning hours and then disperse up‐canyon to the northeast by afternoon.
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 pose a health concerns for the public. Residents are encouraged to visit the “Protect Yourself from Smoke” website 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 and near evacuation areas are encouraged to visit the “Ready, Set, Go” website at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/article/3052/15480/.
Power Outages: To report and get updates on power outages please call PG&E’s 24‐hour emergency and customer
service line: 1‐800‐743‐5002.
Evacuations and Closures:
Butt Valley Reservoir recreation facilities administered by PG&E (Ponderosa Flat Campground, Cool Springs Campground, Ray Adams Day Use Area 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 Sheriff’s 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. The communities of Meadow Valley, Chester, Canyon Dam, Greenville, and
Susanville area are not threatened at this time, nor are those west of the fire area 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.