Plumas blaze firefighters fear storms | SierraSun.com

Plumas blaze firefighters fear storms

Dave Moller
Sun News Service

Bulldozers and back fires produced progress on the Antelope Complex fire in Plumas County Sunday, but possible thunderstorms could bring more trouble.

The fire 70 miles north of Grass Valley has now grown to 18,100 acres, but is 21 percent contained, according to Lee Anne Schramel Taylor of the Plumas National Forest.

Almost 1,400 firefighters are expected to make more progress on the fire today, but late afternoon thunderstorms with dry lightning and strong winds could cause the blaze to grow again.

Smoky conditions and falling ash from the fire are expected south and east of the blaze today over the Plumas County towns of Portola, Greenville and Quincy.

Residents of the small towns of Janesville and Milford on Highway 395 about seven miles from the fire have been alerted an evacuation could occur. They have been told to prepare personal things in advance and to take their livestock to the Lassen County Fairgrounds if it comes.

Campers that were evacuated from Antelope Lake after the fire broke out Thursday were permitted to enter the blaze area with CHP escort this morning to retrieve things they were forced to leave behind, Schramel Taylor said.

Nine helicopters are now helping douse the blaze, but extremely smoky conditions could hamper their efforts.