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Beckwourth Complex Fire is 98 percent contained

Night Shift near Diamond Face and Sugar Loaf on July 13, 2021.
Night Shift near Diamond Face and Sugar Loaf on July 13, 2021.(John Collins)
Published: Jul. 3, 2021 at 12:19 PM PDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:34 PM PDT
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BECKWOURTH, Calif. (KOLO) - JULY 22 6:10 P.M. The Beckwourth Fire is 98 percent contained at 105,670 acres. The number of fire personnel has dropped to 455.

The fire is not expected to go beyond containment lines.

JULY 22 9:45 A.M. The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office has lifted all evacuation orders for the area affected by the Beckwourth Complex Fire.

There are still fire crews working in the area to extinguish hot spots, so drivers are warned to yield to emergency personnel and drive with your lights on.

PRESS RELEASE 7/22/2021 8am ALL WARNINGS RELATED TO THE BECKWOURTH COMPLEX FIRE HAVE BEEN LIFTED FOR LASSEN COUNTY An...

Posted by Lassen County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, July 22, 2021

JULY 21 8:30 P.M. The Beckwourth Complex of the Sugar and Dotta fires is now 96 percent contained, the U.S. Forest Service reported.

It is 105,670 acres.

There are more than 60 miles of containment line around the Sugar Fire and it is remaining within the line.

All mandatory evacuations In Plumas and Lassen counties have been lifted and only voluntary evacuations remain.

JULY 20, 9:10 A.M. The U.S. Forest Service reports that the Beckwourth Complex Fire has not grown in the last day and they expect the fire to remain within the current perimeter.

While crews are still mopping up hot spots, some personnel are being reassigned to other fires or being sent home for rest.

Monday night, there was a new lightning-caused fire west of the Beckwourth Complex, but the night-shift firefighters responded quickly and contained the new fire.

JULY 19, 11:00 P.M. Containment on the Beckwourth Complex Fire continues to go up, now at 88 percent. The size of the fire remains the same.

JULY 19, 10:45 A.M. Containment has grown to 82 percent on the Beckwourth Complex Fire which has burned 105,348 acres.

Firefighters are continuing to secure the Sugar Fire which accounts for 104,754 acres, and are monitoring smoking pockets of vegetation within the fire’s perimeter.

Highway 395 is open, however, other roads in the fire area are closed.

Firefighters mix water and soil until it’s cool to the touch, to ensure the fire line will hold.
Firefighters mix water and soil until it’s cool to the touch, to ensure the fire line will hold.(Ryan Tang)

JULY 18, 10:55 A.M. The Beckwourth Complex Fire size remains 105,348 acres, the U.S. Forest Service reported on Sunday. Containment is now 73 percent.

The Sugar Fire within the Beckwourth Complex has more than 60 miles of containment line. Crews continue to secure the northeast corner of the fire from Doyle to Meadow View to protect U.S. 395.

Containment lines on the west side are holding.

While a Red Flag Warning for western Nevada goes into effect this morning, it’s not slated for the Beckwourth Complex from midnight tonight to 8 p.m. on Monday. The warning there is for lightning and outflow winds.

The Beckwourth Complex helped lower air quality in Lassen and Plumas counties and could contribute to poor air quality in western Nevada.

JULY 17, 9:40 A.M. Evacuation orders remain in effect for the Beckwourth Complex Fire in California’s Lassen and Plumas County.

Changing weather conditions could mean the evacuation area will be expanded, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office said. It asks people near the fire to remain vigilant and be prepared to evacuate.

The fire’s size and containment did no change overnight. It remains 105,348 acres and is 70 percent contained.

JULY 16, 10 P.M The Beckwourth Complex Fire is 105,163 acres and is 70 percent contained, the U.S. Forest Service reported Friday night.

Fire crews are making good advances at night.

A section of the fire that pushed towards U.S. 395 has been controlled. The area of concern on Friday was a 2.5mile section on the west side that still had a lot of heat. Air tankers and helicopters dropped fire retardant in that area to “knock the heat out,” said Jake Cagle, operations sections chief.

Temperatures will be about 5 degrees warmer on Saturday. On Sunday, thunderstorms could develop in the area, increasing the risk for lighting and for outflow winds to spread flames.

No evacuation shelters remain open because no one was using them.

California Gov. Gavin Newsome declared Plumas and Lassen counties disaster areas, giving the area a head start in cutting red tape to get recovery help.

JULY 16, 8:50 A.M. The U.S. Forest Service reports that the Beckwourth Complex Fire has now grown to 105,161 acres and containment is holding at 68 percent.

In the last day, firefighters contained the flames in an area west of Doyle where the fire escaped the containment lines adjacent to U.S. 395.

On Friday, crews are working on contingency lines to act as a secondary defense. That work is underway near Ross Canyon from Dixie Valley Road to Ferris Flat Road.

JULY 15, 8 P.M. U.S. 395 is open again after being closed because of the Beckwourth Complex Fire, the California Highway Patrol reports.

The complex, made up of the Dotta and Sugar fires, is now listed as 100,531 acres, or about 157 square miles.

Located in northern Plumas County and southern Lassen County near the Nevada state line north of Reno, the fire is listed as 68 percent contained.

JULY 15, 8:30 A.M. The U.S. Forest Service reports that winds late Wednesday carried embers farther ahead of the Beckwourth Complex Fire, creating spot fires across the west side of Frenchman Boulevard.

Containment on the Sugar Fire portion of the Beckwourth Complex is now 68 percent with 99,937 acres burned.

Fire crews were diverted from less active areas of the fire to assist in containing the hot spots.

In the southern area of the fire, containment lines from Maddalena, east to the Scott Road, north to Constantia and the community of Doyle are still holding. The fire has had little-to-no additional progression and crews will continue patrols around these locations.

There is a Plumas National Forest closure order in effect surrounding the fire’s perimeter, which includes several roads, however, U.S. 395 is open.

JULY 14, 8:40 P.M. The California Highway Patrol said U.S. 395 is closed again due to the Beckwourth Complex Fire.

There is no estimated time to reopen it.

JULY 14, 7:50 P.M. The evacuation area for the Beckwourth Complex Fire has been expanded to the north on Old U.S. 395 from Laura Drive to Cowboy Joe Road and everything in between.

Due to spot fires and a weather pattern created by the fire itself that is creating 50-foot fire whirls, there is a chance the fire could break out of its current boundary and force another closure of U.S. 395, Incident Management Operations Section Chief Jake Cagle said Wednesday during an online community meeting.

The California Highway Patrol said if the U.S. 395 closure happens, it would again be from Hallelujah Junction to County Road A26. U.S. 395 was open at the time of the meeting streamed on Facebook.

“We are evaluating that on a minute-by-minute basis,” said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Chris Parent.

In addition to the Doyle area, there are evacuations in the Frenchman Lake area and in Dixie Valley.

The state highway to Frenchman Lake is open, but the Forest Service has closed all the roads and facilities in the area.

The fire environment is extremely dry and embers are causing new fire starts as far as 1.2 miles away, said Fire Behavior Analyst Diondray Wiley.

The dry, gusty winds are expected to continue through Saturday, Incident Meteorologist Dan Hardy said. There’s a slight chance for a thunderstorm in the area on Sunday and a slight chance next week for wetting rain, Hardy said.

The Doyle Fire Protection District is reporting that 33 homes have been destroyed.

No tankers or helicopters were diverted to the nearby Dixie Fire.

JULY 14, 8:15 A.M. The U.S. Forest Service reports the Beckwourth Complex is now 71 percent contained. It has grown to 95,358 acres.

Evacuation orders remain in effect for areas of Doyle west of 395 and for the Frenchman Lake and Dixie Valley areas.

Full containment of the fire is expected by July 30.

JULY 13, 8:45 A.M. The U.S. Forest Service reports improved containment on the two fires that make up the Beckwourth Complex.

The Dotta Fire is now 99 percent contained after burning 594 acres.

The larger Sugar fire is now 46 percent contained after burning 92,394 acres.

Fire managers say there is still a lot of activity near Ramelli Creek. Containment lines have been established on the southern flank to Doyle Grade Road.

JULY 12, 9:45 P.M. U.S. Forest Service officials are reporting that the Beckwourth Complex Fire has grown to 91,200 acres. Containment is also up slightly to 26 percent. There are currently 2,745 people working this fire.

JULY 12, 3 P.M. All evacuations in Washoe County due to the Beckwourth Complex Fire have been lifted.

This includes large animals and livestock.

Officials urged people living in Rancho Haven to remain vigilant as the fire remains active.

A melted firefighter's helmet at the Beckwourth Complex Fire shows just how intense the fire is...
A melted firefighter's helmet at the Beckwourth Complex Fire shows just how intense the fire is burning.(KOLO / Elizabeth Rodil)

JULY 12, 7:30 A.M. Evacuation orders remain in effect in Lassen County west of U.S. 395 between County Road A25 and the Lassen-Sierra county line. Areas east of U.S. 395 remain under an evacuation warning. U.S. 395 is open.

In Washoe County evacuations are in effect for Rancho Haven, Fish Springs, and Flanigan Flats.

JULY 11, 7:05 P.M. The California Highway Patrol reports U.S. 395 closed for the Beckwourth Complex Fire has opened again.

California 70 is also open.

The mandatory evacuation order for Milford from Milford Grade to A25 on the west side of U.S. 395 has been reduced to a warning., the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office said.

Also, the sheriff’s office said the emergency shelter has received enough donations.

JULY 11, 4:10 P.M. The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office reports the emergency shelter for the Beckwourth Complex Fire needs donations.

People can drop them off at Jensen Hall on Fairgrounds Road in Susanville.

  • Water Bottles
  • Individually packaged drinks (milk, juices, seltzer waters)
  • Individually packaged snacks
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables for snacking
  • Board games and puzzles

JULY 11, 2:15 P.M. The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office said the areas under evacuation orders due to the Beckwourth Complex Fire have been expanded:

• The town of Milford from County Road A25 to Milford Grade on the west side of US 395 only but not including residences along Milford Grade.

• Everything west of US 395 from the intersection of County Road A25 and U.S. 395 south to the Lassen/Sierra County Line and the town of Doyle east of US 395 including Doyle Loop and all roads connecting to Doyle Loop and Hackstaff Road to Laver Crossing

Evacuation warnings are in effect for residents east of U.S. 395 from Milford Grade to County Road A26 Herlong Access Road, including the town of Herlong south to the Sierra/Lassen County line.

Earlier in the day, fire officials gave a briefing and said there has been structure loss in Doyle due to the fire but don’t have details on it yet.

The fire burned 10 acres east of U.S. 395 but did not burn into Nevada. The statement Saturday that the fire burned into Nevada was based on bad information.

Fire crews will use aircraft when they can to combat the blaze, but they can’t fly aircraft through heavy smoke and they can’t use aircraft if the wind is blowing too fast.

JULY 11, 1:20 P.M. The California Highway Patrol reports U.S. 395 is closed from Hallelujah Junction to 5 miles south of Herlong due to the Beckwourth Complex Fire.

There is no estimated time for reopening.

California 70 is open.

JULY 11, 12 P.M. Winds today on the Beckwourth Complex Fire are stronger than originally forecasted, so Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue is keeping evacuation recommendations in place for the Nevada area.

That covers the Rancho Haven, Fish Springs and Flanigan Flats area near the north end of Red Rock Road.

Temperatures are expected to be near 100 degrees, about 15 degrees hotter than normal. Winds are expected to gust from the southwest to 20 mph.

The fire activity appears to be picking up in late morning after the inversion lifted.

JULY 11, 9:30 A.M. The California Department of Transportation reports U.S. 395 is open Sunday morning after being closed late Saturday afternoon from Hallelujah Junction to the Doyle, Calif., area.

The U.S. Forest Service reported Sunday that the Beckwourth Complex Fire northwest of Reno in Plumas and Lassen counties is 83,928 acres and containment is now 8 percent contained.

The Sugar Fire grew by 22,600 acres on Saturday. Hot Shot fire crews worked in the Doyle area to contain the fire where it crossed U.S. 395.

Crews continue to hold the fire line in the south and southwestern flanks. They also built dozer lines to stop fire spread in the Doyle area and behind Dixie Valley to Dixie Lookout.

Fire danger is again extremely high today with winds gusting to 25 mph and relative humidity dropping to 9 percent.

Northeast of Scott Road, crews will use the concrete rail bed to use backfires to secure the eastern edge of the fire.

An evacuation center had been set up at Hug High School but the American Red Cross reported it has been closed after no one used it. People who need help can call 800-733-2767.

July 11, 2021 Beckwourth Complex Fire map
July 11, 2021 Beckwourth Complex Fire map(US Forest Service)

JULY 10, 7:35 P.M. The Beckwourth Complex Fire is now well more than 60,000 acres after winds from the southwest pushed it to the northeast and across U.S. 395 near Doyle, Calif.

It is burning in Washoe County.

Several agencies gave a rundown of the current fire situation Saturday night at a meeting in Portola, Calif.

The fire activity is decreasing, and fire crews expect it to slow overnight.

However, humidity has not improved overnight and that has meant the fire increased more than expected. Humidity is dropping into the single digits.

U.S. 395 is closed from the Hallelujah Junction at California 70 to just north of Doyle, Calif. U.S. 395 is open south of Hallelujah Junction and California 70 is open.

There are evacuation recommendations for the Rancho Haven, Flanigan Flats and Fish Springs areas. People and small animals can go to Hug High School in Reno and large animals can be taken to the Reno Livestock Events Center.

Fire Incident Commander Rocky Opliger said the early season fire danger is unprecedented, “much earlier than we have experienced before.”

Convective columns are sending embers 25,000 to 30,000 feet high, causing spotting a mile away. Flames are up to 100 feet high.

A damage assessment team has been called in to look at property damaged by the fire and will inspect them when it is safe to do so.

JULY 10, 6:45 P.M.The Beckwourth Complex Fire has jumped U.S. 395, Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue reported.

There are now evacuation orders for the Rancho Haven and Flanigan Flat areas at the north end of Red Rock Road.

JULY 10, 6:35 P.M.Those evacuating because of the Beckwourth Complex Fire can go to the shelter at Jensen Hall at the Lassen County Fairgrounds in Susanville. They call also call the shelter line at 530-250-9004.

Animals can also be sheltered at the fairgrounds.

JULY 10, 5:15 P.M. The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office expanded the evacuation areas for the Beckwourth Complex Fire:

Everything west of U.S. 395 from the intersection of County Road A25 and US 395 south to the Lassen/Sierra County line and the town of Doyle east of US 395 including Doyle Loop and all roads connecting to Doyle Loop and Hackstaff Road to Laver Crossing.

People need to leave immediately. U.S. 395 is closed going north of Hallelujah Junction.

Evacuation warnings have been extended for residents east of U.S. 395 from County Road A25, including the town of Herlong, south to the Sierra/Lassen County line and the town of Milford from Milford grade south and everything in between.

JULY 10 4:50 P.M. UPDATE: The California Department of Transportation reports U.S. 395 is closed at California 70 north due to the Beckwourth Complex Fire.

U.S. 395 and California 70 meet at Hallelujah Junction.

There is no estimated time for the road to open.

California 70 remains open.

JULY 10 11:25 A.M. UPDATE: Truckee Meadows Fire and Rescue says it has lifted evacuation recommendations for Washoe County residents due to the Beckwourth Complex Fire.

“Residents in Rancho Haven should remain vigilant and monitor news sources should we reinstate evacuation orders if the fire is predicted to advance into the community,” the fire district said.

JULY 10 9:15 A.M. UPDATE: The Beckwourth Complex Fire northwest of Reno in Plumas County, Calif., has grown to 55,091 acres, or about 50 percent larger than was reported Friday night.

That is about 86 square miles.

The fire remains 9 percent contained.

There are about 1,256 personnel on the fire that started in the Beckwourth area east of Portola and eventually spread east, engulfing Frenchman Lake and moving close to U.S. 395.

The U.S. Forest Service reported wind helped push the fire on Friday and the fire remained active all night.

There are mandatory and precautionary evacuations for parts of Plumas and Lassen counties.

The Beckwourth Complex Fire is a combination of the Dotta Fire, started by lightning on June 30, and the Sugar Fire, started by lightning on July 2. Both started near Beckwourth.

The Dotta Fire has shown no substantial growth since Friday. It is about 80 percent contained. The Sugar Fire is about 8 percent contained.

The Forest Service reported after the inversion lifted Friday afternoon, the fire developed a highly visible, large pyrocumulonimbus cloud, with reports of lightning on the east side of the fire.

JULY 9 9 P.M. UPDATE: The Beckwourth Complex fire has grown to 38,056 acres, or almost 60 square miles, the U.S. Forest Service reported Friday night.

It is 9 percent contained.

The fire grew about 14,000 acres after being by the wind, the Forest Service reported.

The weather is going to make the situation hotter and drier this weekend. Heavy down drafts and erratic winds are expected.

The fire is expected to be contained July 30.

JULY 9 8 P.M. UPDATE: The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office has talked to all residents in the Rancho Haven/north Red Rock Road evacuation area and advised them of the evacuation request.

Deputies will patrol the evacuated areas overnight.

The evacuation center at Hug High School has been closed. Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue asks anyone who needs help to contact the America Red Cross. at 800-733-2767. The Red Cross said a few people stopped by for help but no one needs to stay overnight.

The Red Cross urged residents in and around the Beckwourth Complex fire to stay prepared in case they need to evacuate.

July 10, 2021, Beckwourth Complex Fire map
July 10, 2021, Beckwourth Complex Fire map(U.S. Forest Service)

JULY 9, 4:30 P.M. People living in the Rancho Haven and Flanagan Flats areas are urged to evacuate now.

Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District said residents should leave to the south on Red Rock Road.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Search and Rescue teams are assisting in the evacuation of residents.

Deputies are working south down the Red Rock Road corridor.

JULY 9 UPDATE: Truckee Meadows Fire Rescue (TMFR) is warning residents in the Red Rock and Rancho Haven communities to make preparations to evacuate their large animals and livestock with the approach of the Beckwourth Complex Fire.

The Beckwourth Complex Fire is expected to reach US 395 by 4pm, Friday, July 9th.

Drivers should expect that US 395 will be closed from Highway 70 to Doyle.

The Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center can accommodate livestock and large animals. Hug High School will be available as the evacuation center for people and small animals, if needed.

JULY 8: The Beckwourth Complex Fire has now burned a total of 12,469 acres in Plumas National Forest.

The Sugar Fire grew significantly Wednesday, pushing northeast to Carmen Road and Trusi Canyon. It is now 11,799 acres and is 20 percent contained.

The Dotta Fire is now 76 percent contained and has burned 670 acres.

Evacuation orders remain in effect around Frenchman Lake.

A virtual community information meeting will he be held on the Plumas National Forest Facebook page starting at 7:00 Thursday night.

JULY 7: Mandatory evacuations have been ordered following a flare-up in the Beckwourth Complex Fire.

Gusty winds Tuesday pushed the Sugar Fire out of its containment lines. It grew more than 1,800 acres overnight to 2,365 acres. Containment also dropped from 70 percent to 28 percent.

People living on Beckwourth Genesee Road to Harrison Ranch Road need to leave the area, the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office said.

An evacuation center has been set up at Portola Baptist Church.

In addition, an evacuation advisory is back in effect both Dixie Valley and Frenchman Cove areas.

More than 3,000 acres have now burned in the complex which includes both the Sugar and Dotta Fires.

Smoke from the fires is visible in the Reno and Sparks areas. The Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District said it is seeing an increase in 911 calls reporting smoke and flames in the Cold Springs area. Officials are urging residents not to call 911 to report this fire.

JULY 5: U.S. Forest Service officials warned Monday that more smoke may be visible from two fires burning in Plumas County.

Fuels inside the Beckwourth Complex will continue smoldering and burning themselves out resulting in more smoke, officials said.

The Dotta Fire has burned 670 acres and is 20 percent contained.

The Sugar Fire has burned 490 acres and is 30 percent contained.

A total of 1,160 acres have burned.

Evacuation warnings are still in effect for Dixie Valley and Maddalena. The public is asked to be aware of fire crews and equipment on the road as people return home from the holiday weekend.

JULY 4 UPDATE: The Dotta Fire and the Sugar Fire near Beckwourth in Plumas County were combined Sunday by the U.S. Forest Service into the Beckwourth Complex Fire.

The size of the combined fires is 1,141 acres.

The Dotta Fire is 670 acres and 24 percent contained, the Forest Service reported. The evacuation advisory remains in effect for Dixie Valley. Five hotshot crews, three fire engines and two dozers made progress Saturday to improve containment.

The Sugar Fire is 470 acres and 15 percent contained. Structure protection remains a priority. More crews should arrive Sunday. Crews on Sunday will focus on improving fire lines.

The Forest Service reports the Dotta Fire continues to move into Horton Canyon and across Horton Ridge. The Sugar Fire continues to spread with short-range fire starts ahead of the body of the fire.

The Forest Service expects the Beckwourth Complex to continue to grow into Monday due to resources being stretched thin and continued hot weather. Current operations may improve containment on the Dotta Fire.

Complete containment of the Beckwourth complex Fire is estimated to be Aug. 1.

1:50 P.M. UPDATE: The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation advisory for residents between Maddalena Road east to Goodwin Ranch. The sheriff’s office is contacting residents.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Sugar Fire about 2 miles northeast of Beckworth in Plumas County reached 300 acres by Saturday morning and has zero containment, the U.S. National Forest Service reported.

Lightning started the fire Friday in the Sugar Loaf Peak area. The fire closed California 70 In Sierra Valley but it has since reopened.

Crews from the nearby Dotta Fire were pulled off and assigned to the Sugar Fire.

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