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April 10, 2022 at 3:21 PM Update Firefighters are continuing to work on fire that expanded yesterday from the pile burning near Antelope Lake on the Mount Hough Ranger District of the Plumas National Forest.

Firefighters using GPS measure the fire to be 42 acres.  There is hose and dozer line surrounding the fire, with the objective to keep it within the project area for the Moonlight Fire Restoration Plan.

Response was robust yesterday to prevent further spread from predicted winds from the forecasted change in weather later today, and to ensure the fire stays within the project area and did not cross onto neighboring private forest lands.

“We appreciate the support and assistance from CALFire and our partners, as well as contract firefighters from Firestorm yesterday and today,” said Plumas National Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer Mitch Wilson.  “Securing this project fire quickly is allowing resources to be available across the Forest to respond if there are fires from the predicted winds.”

The pile burning project near Antelope Lake was initiated March 17 with ignitions completed around March 21.  The pile burning was part of more than 1,000 acres of fuels reduction prescribed burning in preparation for reforestation under the Moonlight Fire Restoration Plan.

Plumas National Forest and Firestorm firefighters checked the project daily with patrols, ensuring fire activity is within prescription and prepared to take actions to keep the fire within the project area if needed.  This included hand feeling burned piles for residual heat and watching for embers or increased fire activity.  Additional infrared monitoring enhanced this and helped with yesterday’s response.

“Public and firefighter safety are our highest priority and as part of any of our prescribed burning operations we include plans to respond and extinguish fires if conditions shift to being outside of prescription or to prevent fire from leaving the project area,” Wilson said.  “Our fire managers and wildland firefighters responded accordingly yesterday, and with additional help from CALFire and contract firefighters were successful in implementing those plans.”

Area residents and visitors will continue to see increased firefighter traffic in the area as several engines, a dozer and other resources continue to work in the project area today.

Smoke is expected to be visible not only in the immediate area, but in surrounding communities, including Indian Valley, Susanville and parts of Lassen County.  Drivers in the area should use caution.

The swings in spring weather – from highs in the 80s to rain and snow – can result in rapid changes in conditions and gusty seasonal winds.  The area is also significantly below average snowpack, resulting in drying conditions earlier than usual. 

Even with precipitation in the forecast this week, area residents and visitors are asked to be careful with anything that can spark a wildfire.

Further updates will be provided if there are significant changes in fire activity or conditions.

QUINCY, CA — Firefighters are responding this afternoon to an increase in fire activity from the pile burning near Antelope Lake on the Mount Hough Ranger District of the Plumas National Forest.

It was discovered this morning by dispatchers through infrared activity that fire from a pile expanded.  It is currently estimated to be burning 25 acres of the surrounding area. 

Firefighting resources are responding to prevent further spread from predicted winds ahead of a cold front and change of weather approaching later this weekend and early next week.  Priorities are to control spread and keep the fire on Forest Service-administered lands within the project boundaries.

Fire behavior and spread is low to moderate.  It is burning primarily in brush and some snags.

The pile burning was part of more than 1,000 acres of fuels reduction pile burning in preparation for reforestation under Moonlight Fire Restoration Plan.

The pile burning started March 17 and completed around March 21.  As a part of all prescribed fire activities, firefighters continue to patrol and monitor the site.  This includes ensuring that fire activity is within the prescription, checking the piles, and taking actions to keep fire within the project area if needed.

Area residents will see increased firefighter traffic in the area, including ground and possibly air resources.

Smoke is expected to be visible not only in the immediate area, but in surrounding communities, including Indian Valley, Susanville and parts of Lassen County.  Drivers in the area should use caution.

“The work by our dispatchers this morning identifying the activity with this pile burn helped us respond quickly with firefighting resources and is an important part of our monitoring and patrols to ensure prescribed burning is done safely,” said Plumas National Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer Mitch Wilson. 

“Spring pile burning is important fuel reduction work happening on federal and private lands throughout the area, work that is critical to reducing fuels around communities and reforesting impacted areas,” Wilson said.  “And with rapidly changing weather conditions, continued monitoring and having fire resources available, as well as knowing which firefighting resources to call for help early, are critical for a safe burn and accomplishing these projects to prevent larger wildfires.”

Further updates will be provided if there are significant changes in fire activity or conditions.

For more information on the Plumas National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/plumas, follow the forest on Twitter @USFSPlumas or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas