• Sun. Nov 29th, 2020

Bear Fire explodes in Plumas National Forest , heading toward Oroville

Sep 9, 2020


Bear fire update: For the latest updates on the North Complex fires visit the Plumas National Forest website.

Howling winds whipped up a fire burning in the Plumas National Forest east of Chico, Calif., spreading flames through the crowns of trees across thousands of acres.

The fire roared into populated areas around Madrone Lake overnight, forcing evacuations and rescues. It’s unknown at this time how many residents needed rescuing. Butte County paramedics told KRCR that at least five people were “severely burned” after becoming trapped near the Berry Creek area and more are expected to be found as first responders search the region.

KRCR also reports that homes have been destroyed near the communities of Berry Creek and Feather Falls.

Dramatic photos show flames licking the famous Bidwell Bar Bridge overnight, forcing the closure of roads in the region. Highway 162 between Canyon Drive and Foreman Creek Road is closed, and there are a number of mandatory evacuation zones that can be found here. (Note: Evacuation announcements can also be found via the Butte County Sheriff’s Department.)

The entire city of Oroville, as well as Bangor, Concow, Paradise and the Palermo-Honcut areas, are under an evacuation warning, indicating residents must be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

Pushing from Plumas County into Butte County, the North Complex is burning parallel to the Middle Fork of the Feather River at a rate of about 1,000 acres per half hour. It’s tearing through steep terrain and rugged coniferous pine forest.

“[Tuesday] morning around 10 a.m., the fire jumped the middle fork of the Feather River Canyon, around the area of Horseshoe Bar, and that initial spot in 30 minutes grew to 1,000 acres,” said Amber Anderson, a spokesperson for the fire’s incident management team. “With the northwest winds, the fire has grown 15,000 to 20,000 acres.”

The North Complex started as several separate blazes sparked by lightning on Aug. 17, including the Bear and Claremont fires, that have since merged into a massive inferno. The fire was 58,404 acres as of Wednesday morning and went from 51% to 37% containment overnight.

The blaze generated massive amounts of smoke Tuesday, and images of the plume were shared on social media (see photo above).

“The extreme rate of spread on #ClaremontFire/#BearFire right now is reminiscent of the Camp Fire back in 2018, and is burning just south of that location in similar vegetation and weather conditions. This is one to take *extremely* seriously if you are in the path,” UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain shared on Twitter. 

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for multiple communities, including Feather Falls, Clipper Mills, Berry Creek, Brush Creek, Forbestown and more. Find a complete listing of evacuations here. You can also visit the Plumas National Forest Facebook page for updates.


Source: Bear Fire explodes, heading toward Oroville


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