Low Intensity Backburn Operation. Photo courtesy of B. Scott
Crews continue to battle the Chips Fire in NW Belden, California with burnouts and mop up of the burnouts. It is burning 50,860 acres and at 37 percent containment.
Another successful burnout operation was executed Monday night along the eastern border of Butt Valley Reservoir. This completes a half circle burnout around the active northeast section of the fire in preparation for today's weather which includes strong, gusty winds out of the southwest.
Burnouts from Sunday night have progressed up to two miles into the fire area, meeting objectives to reduce and remove unburned fuels between the head of the fire and neighboring communities. As afternoon winds pick up, firefighters will deepen and reinforce control lines along Highway 89. Engines will also patrol the communities of Prattville, Canyon Dam and Big Meadows to watch for fallout from burning material. Efforts will continue throughout the day to strength control lines from the north end of Butt Valley Reservoir to the burnout line in the Prattville area.
While line construction and mop-up continue from Belden up to Caribou, a small area around Red Hill continues to be an issue for firefighters who will patrol the control line and watch for spot fires.
Aided by smoke in the area from the Pass Fire in Mendocino County, fire activity was low to moderate in the afternoon hours yesterday. This also limited the use of aircraft due to low visibility. With gusty winds expected, the smoke layer should lessen allowing the use of the aircraft that are currently assigned to the incident.
Evacuations and Closures: Highways 89 and 147 have been reopened to all traffic although this is subject to change depending on fire activity. The mandatory evacuation order issued by the Plumas County Sherriff's office is still in place for Canyon Dam, Big Meadows and Prattville. For more information, please see: http://www.countyofplumas.com/CivicAlerts.aspx AID=536
Community Meetings: A community meeting will be held today in Clear Creek Community Park at 6:00 p.m.