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North Complex

Unit Information

Plumas National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
159 Lawrence Street
Quincy, CA 95971

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Incident Contact

North Complex Fire Information
Email: 2020.NorthComplex.info@firenet.gov
Phone: 530-316-4487
Hours: Daily 9:00am - 9:00pm

Highlighted Activity

09/26/2020 North Complex Fire PM Update 9-26-2020
Current Situation South Zone: Again today, all containment lines held. Tonight, and tomorrow, firefighters will be reinforcing containment lines, in addition to patrolling for spot fires...
News - 09/26/2020
North Complex Fire Information MapImage options: [ Full Size ]

September 26, 2020:     PM Update Map  |   Operational Update Video |  Smoke Outlook  |  Facebook  

ALL OPERATIONAL VIDEOS on Plumas National Forest Facebook page

Current Approximate Acreage: 304,881
Approximate Containment: 78% 

Current Situation

South Zone:

Crews reported few issues last night as all containment lines held. Today, firefighters will continue preparing for the upcoming weather change by reinforcing containment lines, in addition to patrolling for spot fires. Crews successfully eliminated a large unburned "island" of fuel, thereby reducing a source for spot fires which reduces the chance for further spot fires across the fireline.

North Zone:

There were no spot fires reported last night, and all containment lines held. Crews will continue to monitor the area between Grizzly Forebay and Highlands for spot fires, and look to reinforce containment lines where they can.

There will be a Red Flag Warning from 9 pm Saturday to 2 pm Monday. This will bring a change in winds that will test the recently completed containment lines. Islands of unburned fuels continue to catch fire, which can throw embers across containment lines creating spot fires. Crews will continue patrolling these areas for spot fires.

Firefighters are finding members of the public inside the fire closure area. The public is being asked to respect the closures and stay out of the area for public and for firefighter safety.

For more information there is a daily recorded operational briefing video that will be posted to the Plumas National Forest Facebook Page at 9 a.m.

West Zone: See CAL FIRE Team 4 updates at: www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2020/8/18/north-complex-fire/ 

Evacuations and Road Closures

Orders and Advisories are still in place for communities in Butte, Plumas, and Yuba Counties. Changes were made yesterday to orders pertaining to Butte County. Please check your respective county’s websites and Facebook pages for the latest updates on evacuations and road closures. You can also sign up with your county for reverse 911 notifications by registering with the CODE RED system.

Smoke outlook: fires.airfire.org/outlooks/EasternSierra or www.airnow.gov/ Plumas National Forest closures: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/plumas/alerts-notices

If you haven't already, we'd encourage you to sign up for the Code Red Emergency Alert System which will keep you updated in the event of an evacuation in your area. 

Plumas County: 
click here
Butte County: click here
Yuba County: click here
Lassen County: click here.


Evacuation Centers

Plumas County

  • Contact Plumas County Social Services 530-283-6350

Butte County

  • Butte County TEP, Butte County Gridley Fairgrounds- 199 E Hazel Street, Gridley, CA 95948

Yuba County

  • Yuba Sutter Fairgrounds. Entrance across from 275 Second Street, Yuba City, Ca.


Animal Shelters

Butte Coutny
Small Animal Shelter: 521 Cal Oak Rd, Oroville
Large Animal Shelter: camelot Equestrian Center, 1985 Clarke Rd. Butte Valley
Animal Evacuation Team Request: NVADG Hotline - 530-895-0000 

Plumas County
Contact Plumas County Animal Services

Yuba County 
Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds Hosting Large and Small Animals- Goats, Chickens, Alpacas, and Dogs
Sutter County Sheriff Posse Arena- 44 Second Street Yuba City, CA- Livestock and Horses 


 

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning
Date of OriginMonday August 17th, 2020 approx. 09:00 AM
LocationFlemmings Sheep Camp
Incident CommanderTroy Hagan - Rocky Mountain IMT Black
Incident DescriptionComplex
Coordinates40.091 latitude, -120.931 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel2,941
Size304,881 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained78%
Estimated Containment DateThursday November 12th, 2020 approx. 09:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Litter and Understory)

Closed Timber Litter

Fuel model description: Mixed conifer - timber understory and timber litter. The fire has burned into several burn scars including the 1999 Lookout fire, the 1999 Pidgeon fire, the 2008 Cold fire, the 2008 Scotch fire, and the 2018 Camp fire.

Significant Events

Active

Creeping

Isolated Torching

Spotting

Active, interior creeping, isolated torching, spotting in DIVs QQ, AA, BB and DD. Group torching and short uphill runs interior of the control lines continue to loft embers and create control problems.

Outlook

Planned Actions

North Zone –

Division Z:

Continue to hold and mop up to mitigate any threats to current containment lines.

Division AA:

Continue to hold and mop up. A structure protection plan is in place for Buck's Lake, Haskins, Highlands, Meadow Valley and Tollgate.

Division MM:

Continue to patrol and secure containment lines throughout the division.

Division QQ:

Continue to secure the spot fires that were contained over the last two days and patrolling all areas of the division for new spot fires. Patrol and mop-up existing control lines and seek opportunities to burn out interior unburned islands of fuel when weather conditions become favorable in order to reduce future spotting potential when winds settle back to south-southwest direction later next week.

South Zone –

Division BB:

Operations will focus on securing and holding the previously burned dozer line paralleling the La Porte Road, moving north to the Middle Fork of the Feather River.

Division DD:

Mop up and hold recently fired areas of the Pacific Crest Trail east to the 22N27 and the La Porte Road systems.

Divisions GG:

Continue to hold and mop up to mitigate any threats to current containment lines.

West Zone -

Fire lines are expected to hold in Branch XXIII and Branch XXV on the western and southwestern perimeter of the fire.

Crews will continue to reinforce direct firelines, mop up, and conduct tactical patrols around structures.

Crews will continue to work in fire impacted areas and are engaged in making areas safe for repopulation, and notifying agencies where infrastructure hazards exist.

In Branch XX on the southern perimeter of the fire, crews will continue to aggressively mop up the completed firing operation in Division F from the Division D/F break, northwest along Old Forbestown Road to Squaw Flat Road down to the Ponderosa Reservoir. Crews will continue improving primary control lines and aggressively mopping up, and falling hazard trees.

In Branch XX on the southeastern perimeter of the fire in Division C and Division D fire lines are expected to hold. Crews will continue to improve primary control lines, aggressively mop up, and fall hazard trees.

Contingency lines in the North Branch and Cherokee Contingency Branch have been completed. Crews will continue to build fire lines in the South Branch Contingency areas.

DINS teams are 90% complete with their efforts to gather official information on the impact to structures in the burn area.

Projected Incident Activity

12 Hours:

North Zone/South Zone –

Moderate fire activity - creeping, isolated torching and spotting with variable, light winds direction.

West Zone –

Fire lines are holding in Branch XXIII and Branch XXV on the western and southwestern perimeter of the fire. Crews continue to mop up and conduct tactical patrols, identifying and mitigating hazards around structures and no fire progression is expected in this area.

In Branch XX on the southern perimeter of the fire, crews are aggressively mopping up in Division C, D, and F. Contingency dozer line is continuing to be completed between Lower Forbestown Rd. and Lumpkin Road NW of Sunset Lookout.

24 hours:

North Zone/South Zone –

Red Flag Warning for low humidity and winds. Potential for spotting in DIVs QQ, AA and BB due to variable winds. Alignment of wind, fuel and topography will contribute to active fire behavior.

West Zone –

Fire lines are expected to hold in Branch XXIII and Branch XXV on the western and southwestern perimeter of the fire. Crews will continue to mop up and conduct tactical patrols around structures in preparation for repopulation in areas currently under evacuation orders. No fire progression is expected in this area.

In Branch XX on the southern perimeter of the fire, crews are aggressively mopping up in Division C, D, and F. Contingency dozer line is expected to be completed between Lower Forbestown Rd. and Lumpkin Rd. NW of Sunset Lookout.

48 hours:

North Zone/South Zone –

Red Flag Warning for low humidity and winds. NE winds will test containment lines in the fire area. Expect active fire behavior as NE wind event impacts the fire area. DIVs QQ, AA, BB and DD have areas of recent interior heat that may threaten to spot out toward the containment lines.

West Zone -

Same as 24 hour.

72 hours:

North Zone/South Zone –

Red Flag Warning for low humidity and winds. Expect active fire behavior as NE wind event impacts the fire area along with warmer and drier conditions.

West Zone -

Same as 24 hour.

Anticipated after 72 hours:

Weather pattern returning to warm, dry and sunny conditions with southwest flow. Fuels will continue to dry out and become available. Fire weather watch for forecasted NE winds ending in the morning. Returning to warm, dry and sunny conditions.

Remarks

The North Complex North and South Zones are being managed by Rocky Mountain Team Black.

The West Zone is being managed in Unified Command with CAL FIRE IMT 4 and Butte County Sheriff's Office.

Breakdown of acreage:

North Zone /South Zone - 220,286 acres

West Zone - 84,595 acres

Total - 304,881 acres

Perimeter acreage is based on initial NIROPS intelligence and is viewed as draft until verified by line

personnel.

West Zone is 78% Contained

Breakdown of Responders with injuries/illness:

North Zone /South Zone -

Previous Report Total: 1

Number this Reporting Period: 0

Total number to date: 8

West Zone -

Previous Report Total: 2

Number this Reporting Period: 0

Total number to date: 2

Breakdown of costs to date:

North Zone /South Zone - $64,300,000

West Zone - $57,612,691

Total - $121,912,691

Breakdown of personnel on the incident:

North Zone /South Zone - 1,048

West Zone - 1,859

Total - 2,907

The incident is being supported by the USDA Forest Service National Infrared Operations (NIROPS) to capture infrared imagery. The incident is also supported by the Colorado Multi- Mission Aircraft (MMA), the California Air National Guard MQ9, and Courtney Aviation, to provide tactical oversight and to capture supplemental infrared imagery.

At the request of OES, RM IMT Team Black, and CAL FIRE IMT 4 are supporting, under the direction of the Butte County Sheriff, the implementation of Urban Search and Rescue operations on the North Complex.

1 hand crew from Quebec, Canada is assigned to the North and South Zones of the North Complex. 7 hand crews from British Columbia, Canada are expected to arrive today.

Area Closures:

The Feather River Ranger District of the Plumas National Forest along with the Claremont-Bear Fire area and the roads and trails within it are under a closure order. More information on Order No. 05-11-03-20-18 can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd807568.pdf.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Synopsis:

Today begins a transition to hotter, drier, and windier weather. A red flag warning is in place through noon Monday. The strongest winds are expected to come Saturday night into Sunday morning, have a modest lull, then peak again Sunday night into Monday morning. Beyond that, unseasonable heat and low humidity will prevail deep into the week.

12h (Overnight):

This evening will start in a typical fashion as daytime terrain winds diminish with the sun going down. This sets us up to have northeast winds take over around 2000, and ramp up through the night. The red flag warning takes effect at 2100 as the winds strengthen.

Winds 20 foot:

Winds shifting out of the northeast 10 to 15 mph with gusts near 25 mph in the evening. Winds increasing overnight to 20 to 30 mph with gusts of 35 to 40 mph after 0300. Stronger winds possible across the higher exposed ridges and elongated northeast to southwest oriented valleys, where gusts of 35 to 45 mph will be possible, with localized higher gusts around 50 mph near the Big Bend/Jarbo Gap area.

24h (Sunday):

Winds continue to strengthen overnight with sustained winds up to 25 mph, and localized gusts in constricted terrain as high as 50 mph. These downsloping winds will hamper relative humidity recovery, setting us up for a day with relative humidity falling to around 20 percent in the afternoon. Winds should back off modestly during the day, but remain gusty. Another peak in wind speeds looks to occur Sunday night into Monday morning.

48h (Monday):

The second wave of strong, downsloping winds will carry into the morning hours, though they may veer slightly to be a little more easterly Sunday night into Monday morning. This could be significant depending on valley/canyon alignment. RH recovery will be poor to fair. Winds will begin to subside late Monday morning, though fairly gusty northeast winds should persist through the day.

72h (Tuesday):

Northeast winds will battle to persist through Tuesday, but the typical diurnal pattern of slope and valley winds is forecast to return, though modestly stronger than usual. Some gusts to around 25 mph may be seen at elevation and in aligned valleys. What is not expected to subside is the heat and low humidity, as summer-like conditions continue, and even amplify into the mid-week.

After 72h:

Summer-like temperatures and low humidity are expected to last deep into the week, though there may be subtle signs that temperatures may begin to slowly back down heading into the weekend. In addition to low daytime RH, recovery at night also looks to be poor, which is something we have not seen of late. For winds, we return to the pattern of general SW winds, modified heavily by the daily pattern of valley/slope local winds.