Butte County Bear Fire Prompts Evacuation Warning For Part Of Town Of Paradise

by 24USATVSept. 9, 2020, 10:40 p.m. 22
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PLUMAS COUNTY (CBS13) — The latest on the North Complex and Bear wildfires burning in the Plumas National Forest:

Butte County authorities have issued an Evacuation Warning for part of the town of Paradise due to the Bear Fire.

Officials stress that there is no fire currently reported in the town, or in the Concow area. However, Cal Fire is keeping a close eye on the eastern side of Paradise.

The evacuation warning is in effect for Zone 14, east of Pentz Road.

Paradise was the city that was mostly destroyed in the 2018 Camp Fire. An estimated 4,400 people still call the town home, down from the 26,000 who lived there before the wildfire.

Fanned by heavy wind, firefighters say the North Complex Fire exploded in size on Tuesday and into Wednesday.

The US Forest Service says, at some points, the fire spread at a rate of 1,000 acres every 30 minutes. The wildfire grew by an additional 80,000 acres southwest of the original footprint as of Wednesday morning, making it a total of 150,140 acres.

Topography and dry fuels also helped the flames spread at an unprecedented rate, firefighters say.

Containment stands at 38 percent, authorities say. More than 1,400 personnel have responded to fight the fire.

Evacuations remain in place in parts of Plumas, Butte and Yuba counties.

An evacuation warning has been issued for the north side of Highway 70 in the area of Lower Concow.

More mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for the Bear Fire.

Per the Butte County Sheriff, the following areas are now under immediate evacuation orders: Cherokee Road at Highway 70, south to Thompson Flat Cemetery Road and all areas east to Lake Oroville.

The temporary evacuation point has also been moved to the Gridley Fairgrounds.

An evacuation warning is now in effect for the following areas: Highway 70 at Garden Drive, south to Lower Honcut Road, Lower Honcut Road east to Bangor, and everything east to the borders of the current evacuation orders.

All evacuation orders can be found in this map.

Evacuation orders have been expanded to the Kelly Ridge and Copley Acres communities, the Butte County Sheriff said. In a tweet, the sheriff’s office said all previous evacuation warnings have become orders.

Additionally, Highway 162 is closed from Canyon Drive to Foreman Creek in Butte County due to the fire.

Immediate evacuations ordered for Butte County residents east of Miners Ranch Road at Highway 162 and Oro-Bangor Highway, including Bangor and part of the Mt. Ida area, the Butte County Sheriff said.

According to Cal Fire, crews are headed up to the Forbestown area to help residents evacuate.

Residents in evacuation zones are urged to leave immediately.

The North Complex exploded Tuesday, partially in Plumas County, where the Bear Fire grew 1,000 acres every 30 minutes, blanketing the sky above the Oroville Evacuation Center in ash.

Officials say the North Complex Fire has burned more than 40,800 acres and is 51% contained.

“It’s so dark up there. It’s so smoky up there. It’s so windy up there,” evacuee Jay Thao said.

The smoke and flames blocked out the sun and the wind made for fast-moving fire, forcing residents in several Northern California counties to evacuate.

“They told us we got to leave. We can’t go back up there. It’s sad because you don’t know what’s up there you know that you’re losing up there. That’s pretty sad,” Thao said.

The U.S. Forest Service is leading the fight against the North Complex fire with help from neighboring agencies while the Red Cross is working to take in the displaced families at the Oroville evacuation center.

A map of the areas affected can be found here.

A mandatory evacuation order is issued for residents in the area of La Porte Road & New York Flat Road, north of Brownsville to the border of Butte and Plumas Counties. This includes Forbestown, Woodleaf, Clipper Mills, and Strawberry Valley, the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office says.

A mandatory evacuation notice has been given for the town of La Porte and the Little Grass Valley Reservoir late Tuesday morning.

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office says all residents in the town of La Porte and people in the campgrounds and recreational facilities at Little Grass Valley Road west of Quincy La Porte Road are being ordered to get out.

People along Quincy La Porte Road from Onion Valley to the county line are also being ordered to evacuate.

Evacuees should head south down Quincy La Porte Road towards Yuba County, the sheriff’s office says.

The evacuations are related to the North Complex wildfire burning in the Plumas National Forest. That fire is 51 percent contained but has burned 40,843 acres, according to the US Forest Service.

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