QUINCY, Calif – July 14, 2017 – It’s mid-July, the verdant spring grasses have cured and Plumas National Forest (PNF) fire season is in full swing. “We’re fully staffed and already rolling,” commented Scott Lucas, PNF Fire Chief.
According to Lucas, staffing includes close to 250 permanent & temporary firefighters (essentially half the workforce) including 15 engines/crews, three 20-person hand crews (includes 2 Type 1 “hotshot” crews), 11 prevention personnel, 3 bulldozers, 2 water trucks and a Type 2 helicopter. Additional part-time personnel rotate as members of two “on-call” hand crews which are activated when needed.
Ground resources are assisted by routine fixed-wing airplane reconnaissance (recon) flights that often occur daily and more often when conditions warrant. Many other local, state and federal resources, including air tankers and helicopters, may be tapped via regional and national dispatch centers.
Also staffed are lookouts including (west to east) Pike County, Mt. Hough, Mills Peak, Smith Peak, Thompson Peak and Dixie Mountain. “Thompson Peak had extensive repairs last year following storm damage and vandalism and is now fully operational,” said Lucas.