Plumas fire just 21 percent contained |

Plumas fire just 21 percent contained

A major blaze on the Plumas National Forest grew more than 3,000 acres Monday as almost 1,400 firefighters tried to get it under control amid thunderstorm predictions.

Bulldozers and back fires produced progress on the Antelope Complex fire in Plumas County, but the possible thunderstorms could bring more trouble if they contain dry lightning and no rain. The National Weather Service in Sacramento said the storms could linger over the fire area today with an increased possibility of rain.

The fire 70 miles north of Grass Valley grew to 21,500 acres and was 21 percent contained, according to Lorraine Harwood of the U.S. Forest Service. The fire had calmed on its north face but was still burning strongly on its southern end in the late afternoon, Harwood said.

Continued smoky conditions and falling ash from the fire are expected south and east of the blaze 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 take their livestock to the Lassen County Fairgrounds if they wish.

Campers that were evacuated from Antelope Lake after the fire broke out Thursday were permitted to enter the blaze area with CHP escort Monday to retrieve belongings they left behind, according to Lee Anne Schramel Taylor of the Plumas National Forest.

Nine helicopters were helping douse the blaze but extremely smoky conditions could hamper their efforts. There has been no containment time forecast for the fire.


To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail davem@the or call 477-4237.

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