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Portola Reporter
Portola , California
August 1, 2012     Portola Reporter
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August 1, 2012

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Portola Reporter Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 3A A Forest Service fire crew heads to the Chips Creek trailhead to begin the hike into the Chips Fire area Monday morning, July 30. The crew was beginning a long day of fire-line construction. Photo by Michael Condon WILDFIRES, from page 1A No structures were threat- ened Monday. No roads or campgrounds were threat- ened. However, some camp- grounds were being used by fire crews. The smoke was settling in the Canyon and nearby ar- eas, including Butt Lake and Lake Almanor. Eureka Fire The Eureka Fire, which started about two miles southwest of Sloat Thursday afternoon, July 26, was fully contained in 24 hours. Thanks to swift response from U.S. Forest Service crews, the fire damage was limited to 4.2 acres on a heav- ily wooded hillside along Eu- reka Ridge Road near Poplar Creek. "Luckily we were able to respond fast enough to catch the fire where it is right now," Plumas National For- est spokesperson Heather Munn said Thursday evening while on the scene. The fire was reported at 4:23 p.m. Thursday. A large plume of smoke was visible from the Highway 70 corri- dor between Quincy and Graeagle. The first fire crew arrived just 16 minutes after the fire was reported. Within an hour two air tankers, a helicopter, six engines and a 20-person ground crew were battling the blaze. A second 20-person crew from Truckee and other U.S. Forest Service personnel joined the battle Thursday night. In all, about 100 personnel fought the fire, including a 17-person crew from the De- partment of Corrections' An- telope Conservation Camp in Susanville. According to Forest Set= vice Information Officer Lee Anne Schramel Taylor, the mop-up operation continued into Friday evening. "There was a lot of heavy mop-up because of the timber and timber litter," Taylor said. "It presented a level of difficulty because of all the branches and smaller trees on the ground." The cause of the fire was still undetermined as of Fri- day night. However, the For- est Service ruled out light- ning strikes as a cause. There were a number of lightning strikes in the coun- ty July 23. A lightning-caused fire can smolder for days. The Eureka Fire appeared to originate on a steep hill- side just a few feet from the gravel road. It burned private land. There were no evacua- tions or road closures. Lightning-caused fires A weather disturbance that moved through Northern California last week left a se- ries of lightning-caused fires inits wake. The Forest Service report- ed there were seven light- ning-related fires in the Plumas National 'Forest Mon- day, July 23. According to Taylor, all of the fires were quickly con- tained by Forest Service fire- fighters. Taylor said the fires were in the eastern part of the for- est, north of Clover Valley and east to Crystal and Adams peaks. The seven small fires, and the fires that began over the weekend, brought the total to 50 so far this year. The wild- fires have burned more than 1,100 acres. According to information provided by the National In- teragency Fire Center, there were 1.023 lightning strikes in California's national forests during a 24-hour peri- od that ended at 6 a.m. ,July 24. Fire restrictions went into effect July I. The restrictions include no open fires within the Plumas National Forest. Only campfires or charcoal fires are allowed in most ar- eas. Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied pe- troleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed as long as the forest visitor has a valid California Campfire Permit. The permit is available at Forest Service offices. Fire danger-- which ranges from "Low" to "Ex- treme" remains "Very High" throughout most of the forest. According to the 2012 Northern California Fire Sea- son Outlook provided by Pre- dictive Services, conditions remain right for a bad fire season. BUFFETS ARE BACK00, NAKOMA GOLF RESORT 18 Hole Championship Golf Course • SPECIAL TUESDAYS • $55 Per Person Includes Cart New 2012 Rates $75 with Cart $55 Walking 7 Days a week NEWLY IAVIODF_I,ED  CLUBHOUSE • BREAKFAST&LUNCH.  7 Days a Week  • Lite Dinner Served.   Tuesday-Saturday • Full Bar-Deck Dining • ..... Enjoy ,ho "eacof0000 Viow i 41, 836-2348 www.playgraeagle.eom 836-2323 Smoke from the Eureka Fire near Sloat can be seen drifting eastward in this photo taken from Grizzly Ridge the evening of Thursday, July 26. Ihoto courtesy Scott Lawson A relatively light snow- pack and a warm spring have left the forest very dry par- ticularly on the eastern side. More fire fighting aircraft The U.S. Forest Service could be getting a firefighting boost with the addition of 14 air tankers. In a Wednesday, July 25, news release from U.S. Sen. John McCain's office, the Forest Service s expected to recmve 14 C-27J Spartan air- craft from the Department of Defense in fiscal year 2013. "The Forest Service needs to modernize its entire tanker fleet," McCain said. "We have an opportunity to take the C-27J, an aircraft the Pentagon no longer wants, and give it to the Forest Ser- vice The C-27J should be kept in the service of the American people to help our brave fire crews, rather than sit in an airplane boneyard." McCain said the aircraft would be owned by the For- est Service and dedicated solely to fighting wildfires. The legislation -- known as the Wildfire Suppression Aircraft Transfer Act of 2012 was introduced by McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Dianne Fein- stein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). J choose from. 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