Loyalton Fire containment at 90%

A round-up of the Loyalton Fire plus a family loses a workshop and other items from the flames.
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:03 PM PDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2020 at 5:10 PM PDT
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LOYALTON, Calif. (KOLO) - AUG. 22, 5:05 P.M.: The Loyalton Fire is 90 percent contained at 47,029 acres, the Tahoe National Forest Service reported Sunday.

AUG. 21, 7:30 P.M.: The Loyalton Fire is 75 percent contained and an estimated 46,872 acres, the Tahoe National Forest reported Friday night.

All evacuations have been lifted.

Crews found another home at the southern end of the fire that had burned. It likely burned near the start of the fire. That makes six homes destroyed and 29 outbuildings.

The fire was described as quiet on Friday as crews continued to build 100-foot containment lines. They also began repairing damage caused by fighting the fire, including repairing dozer lines to prevent erosion.

Loyalton Fire Progression
Loyalton Fire Progression(Plumas National Forest)

AUG. 20, 8:30 P.M. The Loyalton Fire is 60 percent contained at 46,582 acres as of Thursday night, the Tahoe National Forest Service reported.

No new structures were destroyed, leaving the loss at five homes and six outbuildings.

There were 760 total personnel on the fire and 10 aircraft.

The northern edge is mopped up to 100 feet or more in most places. The southern edge needs work to be considered contained, Tahoe National Forest Service reported.

The fire will continue to put out smoke and cause poor air quality through Friday. Unburned areas in the fire will flare up.

AUG. 20, 8:00 A.M. The U.S. Forest Service reports that containment on the Loyalton Fire burning north and east of Reno has reached 38 percent. The fire is still mapped at 46,386 acres.

Fire managers say they are strengthening the fire lines, but they expect higher winds and dry conditions to test their efforts.

The Sierra Brooks subdivision south of Loyalton remains under an Evacuation Advisory.

A Forest Closure order remains in effect for the Dog Valley area due to the fire’s southern spread.

AUG. 19, 11 P.M. The Loyalton Fire is 46,386 acres and is 35 percent contained.

Evacuation orders remain in effect for Balls Canyon Road and Long Valley Road and for Sierra Brooks.

AUG. 18, 9:30 A.M. The Loyalton Fire is now 30% contained.

AUG. 18, 6:15 A.M. The Loyalton Fire grew overnight to 43,147 acres. Containment remains at 10%.

Despite the growth, officials with Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest said crews made good progress overnight after a strong thunderstorm system moved over the fire.

Highway 49 is closed at Railroad Avenue in Loyalton.

A mandatory evacuation remains in effect for the area of Sierra Brooks.

AUG. 17, 8:55 P.M. Tahoe National Forest officials say the Loyalton Fire has grown to 39,723 acres and is 10% contained. The cause is lightning. Mandatory evacuations are still in place for the east side of Smithneck Road, Balls Canyon Road, Long Valley Road, and Copperfield. Highway 70 is open, but under advisory as fire activity could warrant another closure. Hwy 395 is back open.

AUG. 17, 4:45 P.M. The incident command team working the Loyalton Fire provided an update Monday afternoon on the fire lines.

Acres burned and containment have not changed since earlier in the day, but crews expect containment to jump later in the day. Officials with the Tahoe National Forest said crews are making progress on containing the north end of the fire. There is about a mile-wide strip burning south toward Dog Valley.

Because the fire is burning into Dog and Long Valleys, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has closed all National Forest System lands in these areas to the public.

“With the extreme fire weather and dry vegetation, the fire behavior has been very erratic,” said Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger. “We are asking the public to comply with this closure and stay out of the area, so we can focus on suppressing the fire.”

You can watch the Monday afternoon fire update here:

AUG. 17, 3:46 P.M. Officials with Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest report a mandatory evacuation order has been issued for the east side of Smithneck Road in Sierra Brooks.

AUG. 17, 1:10 P.M. Fire Managers have issued an Evacuation Advisory for the Sierra Brooks subdivision south of Loyalton due to the Loyalton Fire. Residents are not required to leave at this time, but should be prepared if conditions worsen.

AUG. 17, 8:21 A.M. Officials say five homes and six outbuildings have burned in the Loyalton Fire.

AUG. 17, 7:40 A.M. Truckee Meadows Fire and Rescue says it has lifted evacuation orders for Cold Springs and Bordertown residents.

AUG. 17, 7:21 A.M. Officials say the Loyalton Fire was sparked by lightning.

AUG. 17, 6:01 A.M. The Tahoe National Forest Service reports the Loyalton Fire has now burned 36,295 acres. Crews have gained some containment on the fire. It now stands at 5%.

Officials say the fire was extremely active overnight, but crews made good progress, especially on the eastern edge.

The mandatory evacuation from Red Rock Road south to Highway 70 has been lifted, but an evacuation advisory remains in effect for the north side of Hwy 70 and the east side of Hwy 395. Cold Springs.

AUG. 16, 4:40 P.M. California 70 is now open, the Tahoe National Forest reports.

AUG. 16, 4:15 P.M. The Loyalton Fire’s major movement Sunday was towards Cold Springs, fire officials said at a Tahoe National Forest Service press conference.

The fire’s progress was not as aggressive at the time of the 4 p.m. press conference as it was a couple of hours earlier, fire officials said.

People ask which way the fire is moving but with the changing weather pattern, the thunderstorm cells push the fire in different directions.

There is zero containment on the fire. However, as crews tie in fire lines built on the north end of the fire, mostly around California 70, containment should jump on Monday.

There are fires throughout the state so resources to fight the fire are thin but they continue to trickle in.

The Tahoe National Forest provided this map of the Loyalton Fire.
The Tahoe National Forest provided this map of the Loyalton Fire.(Tahoe National Forest)

AUG. 16, 1:10 P.M.: The Washoe County Air Quality Management District reports air quality for fine particulates has reached an unhealthy range.

AUG. 16, 12:30 P.M.: Authorities are calling for evacuations of the west side of U.S. 395 in the Cold Springs and the Bordertown areas.

“This could expand, and (we are) asking all residents in the area to remain vigilant and monitor local news sources,” Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue said in a tweet.

People can evacuate to the Washoe County Senior Citizens Center at East Ninth Street and Sutro Street and can take their livestock to the Livestock Events Center.

Authorities ask drivers to watch for emergency vehicles around the fire area.

AUG. 16, 10:40 A.M. In its Sunday morning update, the Tahoe National Forest reported the Loyalton Fire was 20,000 acres and had no containment.

The fire started east of Loyalton and burned towards Hallelujah Junction and towards the Beckwourth area, the Tahoe National Forest Service said.

“The Loyalton Fire displayed active behavior throughout the night,” the update said. “Firefighters worked through the night extinguishing spot fires outside the current fire perimeter and protecting threatened structures. Extreme fire behavior has been displayed at times, especially when overhead thunderstorm cells cause downdrafts and dangerous fire conditions.”

The attack on the fire included converted DC-10s or Boeing 747 working as Very Large Air Tankers (VLATs). Helicopters and other air tankers also provided help.

There are 11 hand crews, 35 firetrucks and 441 fire personnel on the fire.

Here are the evacuations:

  • Mandatory Evacuation Order has been issued for residents from the intersection of Red Rock Road and Hwy 395 to the State line.Effective immediately, Mandatory Evacuation Order has been issued for residents on Scott Road on the north side of Hwy 70.
  • Effective immediately, a Mandatory Evacuation Order has been issued for residents from the intersection of Hwy 49 and 70 east to Hwy 70 and Hwy 395. Hwy 395 south to the state line. This encompasses everything south of Hwy 70 and west of 395.
  • Effective immediately, an Evacuation Advisory has been issued for the north side of Hwy 70 and the east side of Hwy 395.

Evacuees needing shelter should call the Lassen County Emergency Shelter at 530-250-9088.

People with special needs who will need help evacuating should call 530-257-6121.

The Loyalton Fire included a Fire Tornado.

AUG. 16, 9:15 A.M. U.S. 395 is open Sunday morning north of Reno, after being closed Saturday due to the 20,000-acre Loyalton Fire.

The California Department of Transportation said northbound traffic is reduced to one lane 2 miles north of Bordertown.

California 70 remains closed from Vinton to Halleluiah Junction.

There are an estimated 440 personnel on the fire.

A Red Flag warning in effect until 7 p.m. in western Nevada.

AUG. 15, 6:35 P.M. Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue said the winds have shifted and all evacuations have been downgraded to advisory only.

They recommend people continue to be vigilant and be prepared to leave.

AUG. 15, 6 P.M. The Loyalton Fire has crossed U.S. 395 and Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue is asking for the evacuation of the Ranch Haven area near the north Red Rock Road intersection with U.S. 305.

The fire is burning through the Petersen Range, TMFR reported.

AUG. 15, 5:45 P.M. Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue said the evacuation orders for Silver Knolls has been downgraded to advisory.

AUG. 15, 5:05 P.M. The Loyalton Fire is now estimated to be 15,000 to 20,000 acres, the Tahoe National Forest Service reported.

It is 5 percent contained.

U.S. 395 is closed from Hallelujah Junction to the Nevada state line. California 70 is closed from California 49 to U.S. 395.

There are mandatory evacuations of Chilcoot south of California 70, Long Valley Road and Scott’s Flat Road south of California 70 and west of U.S. 395 from Hallelujah Junction to Cold Springs.

There are advisory evacuations in Venton, in Chilcoot north of California 70 and east of U.S. 395 from Hallelujah Junction to Cold Springs.

AUG. 15, 4:45 P.M. Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue said it is ordering evacuations of the Silver Knolls north of Reno are due to the Loyalton Fire.

They are asking Cold Springs area residents to be prepared to evacuate.

AUG. 15, 3:40 P.M. The Tahoe National Forest said there are evacuation orders for the Chilcoot area and for Scotts Road south of California 70.

There is an evacuation order pending for Long Valley.

AUG. 15, 3:35 P.M. The chance of a tornado in the area of the Loyalton Fire has decreased, the U.S. National Weather Service said.

However, new fire tornadoes and wind gusts faster than 60 mph are possible. Extreme fire behavior will continue into Saturday evening.

AUG. 15, 3:20 P.M. The California Department of Transportation said California 70 is closed near Vinton.

AUG. 15, 3:05 P.M. There is a tornado warning near the Loyalton Fire in the Roberts Canyon area. The National Weather Service suggests people stay away from the fire area and said they need to heed warnings from emergency managers and other personnel.

The warning is in effect until 3:30 p.m.

The tornado potential is in southeastern Lassen County.

The pyrocumulonimbus clouds from the Loyalton Wildfire could produce a fire-induced tornado and outflow winds faster than 60 mph were located south of Chilcoot, and it is nearly stationary, the weather service said.

AUG. 15, 12:30 P.M. The Loyalton Fire is now 2,300 acres and is 5 percent contained, the Tahoe National Forest reported.

More than 300 personnel are on the fire and it is expected to be contained by Sept. 1 Resources include 10 hand crews, 17 fire engines, six aircraft, four air tankers, one water tender and eight dozers.

The cause remains under investigation.

It is burning east of Loyalton and southwest of Mount Ina Coolbirth.

AUG. 15, 9:40 A.M. The Loyalton Fire east of Loyalton, Calif., has grown to 2,000 acres, the Tahoe National Forest reported Saturday morning.

No structures are threatened, and no roads are closed. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire is burning in sagebrush, grass and juniper. It will send up smoke that should be seen in eastern California and western Nevada.

The U.S. National Weather Service in Reno reported Saturday morning that a dense smoke advisory is in effect until noon. Visibility will be less than 3 miles.

The weather service expects smoke to clear Saturday afternoon but it could return Saturday night depending on fire activity.

6:55 P.M. UPDATE: The Tahoe National Forest reports the Loyalton Fire has grown to 230 acres.

There are several fire engines on scene and two helicopters are being used in air attacks and large air tankers are on order.

ORIGINAL STORY: A column of smoke coming into the Truckee Meadows is from the fire near Loyalton, Calif., the Tahoe National Forest Service reports.

The latest information is that the Loyalton Fire is larger than 70 acres. It was reported Friday about 4:30 p.m.

Other details about the fire were not immediately available.

This is a video submitted by Phil Mosby and Kelsen Thompson of the Loyalton Fire burning east of Loyalton, Calif., in the Tahoe National Forest.

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