Fire crews make progress
Fire crews made progress Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning with preemptive back burning to hold the portion of the North Complex Fire that has been burning just north of the Yuba County line.
The area, recognized as the West Zone, had been held to the north of Forbestown on Wednesday morning after pushing towards the Ponderosa Reservoir, according to the
Yuba County Sheriff ’s Department.
“The fire lines up the hill from Forbestown and Challenge, toward Clipper Mills and Strawberry Valley remain stable but (are) not fully contained,” said Yuba County Sheriff ’s Department personnel in a statement Wednesday morning.
According to Calfire, check lines and tactical firing are taking place to slow the spread of the fire as firefighters aggressively construct more direct and indirect control lines to keep the fire from moving into the communities of Forbestown, Woodleaf, Clipper Mills and Strawberry Valley.
As of Wednesday, the West Zone of the complex had burned 82,500 acres and was 63 percent contained.
The entire North Complex Fire has burned 301,404 acres of Butte and Plumas counties and was 75 percent contained on Wednesday.
Evacuations north and east of where New York House Road meets La Porte Road remain in place, according to Yuba County officials.
As of Wednesday morning, communities that remain under evacuation orders include Challenge, Woodleaf, Clipper Mills, Strawberry Valley and Forbestown.
La Porte Road to the west of New York House Road has reopened but New York Flat Road and Challenge Cutoff Road remain closed.
“The Brownsville area remains under an advisory evacuation, so please continue to be vigilant in monitoring fire activity nearby, and continue to be prepared to evacuate again if necessary,” it was stated on the Yuba County website.
– According to
Yuba County officials, households in the communities of Dobbins, Strawberry Valley, Challenge, Camptonville, Brownsville and Oregon House affected by the evacuations are eligible to receive an automatic replacement of Calfresh benefits to restore food loss as a result of wildfire and power outages.
Replacement benefits, which will total 50 percent of the total monthly allotment a household typically receives, will automatically be loaded directly onto an existing recipient’s Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card on Sunday.
– Evacuees with questions regarding housing, food or other emergency services can call the Yuba County Office of Emergency Services Call Center at 749-7700.
Calfire officials said Wednesday that smoke continues to be a concern for weather and air operations in addition to upslope and upvalley winds.
“The winds are causing erratic fire behavior in the area of the South
Fork of the Feather River drainage where most of the fire activity is taking place in the West Zone,” it was stated in an incident report released by Calfire Wednesday morning. “The critically dry fuel moistures make the vegetation extremely receptive to fire.”
Yuba County Sheriff ’s Department personnel said the wind was blowing in a favorable direction Wednesday, pushing the fire back on itself, and more southerly winds are anticipated Thursday.
Hannah ChandlerCooley, meteorologist for the National Weather Service Sacramento office, said a weather system forecast to move into Yuba County this weekend has the potential to bring gusty winds to the area where the fire is burning.
According to ChandlerCooley, the strongest gusts will be Saturday night and into Sunday morning, with gusts expected to reach up to 30 miles per hour.
A fire weather watch will go into effect in the northeast portion of
Yuba County on Saturday due to the increase in winds paired with anticipated low humidity levels. That will be in effect until Monday.