Wildfire Update: North Complex Fire containment at 36%, damage rises

 eu.rgj.com  09/16/2020 18:28:11   Kristin Oh

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As of Wednesday morning, first responders made slow and steady progress on the deadly North Complex Fire burning north of Sacramento,bringing the containment up to 36% from Tuesday night's reported 34%.

More: Wildfire maps: Here are 7 online fire maps Californians can use to stay in-the-know

According to Cal Fire, the fire has not grown in size and remains at 273,335 acres. In the fire's west zone, containment has increased from 29% to 30% in the same period.

Weather conditions may play a big role in containing the fire, which has now been active for 28 days. According to Cal Fire, last night's cooler temperatures and light winds helped reduce fire behavior.

North Complex Fire: Containment decreases to 34% while size rises to 273,335 acres

Cal Fire also reported an increase in the number of damaged structures. Officials say 865structures are destroyed and 60 are damaged. Also, 23,356 structures are threatened by the fire.

In avideo posted on the Plumas National Forest Facebook page, Operations Section Chief, Jake Cagle, discussed the current situation with the fire and the plan of operation.

Overall, the first responders are making some headway. Firefighters expect the fire to move east into La Porte and are making efforts to minimize damage.Residents should pay attention to their local sheriff's office for additional details and look out for advisory notices.

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They are also monitoring the areas near Oro Quincy Road because it isa receptive fuel bed  meaning it contains fuel such as old wood that could facilitate a spot fireas a resultfrom the old Buck's Fire in 1999. Environmental factors and winds will impact the spot firein the area. However, they will plan on using aerial imagery and helicopters to mitigate any complications.

The smoke and air quality conditions are expected to be similar to yesterday's, according to the Plumas National Forest Facebook page. However, it is expected to improve in most areasThursday.

According to the Air Quality Index (AQI), Reno's current air quality is at an unhealthy level. Individuals should limit their exposure outdoors and consider working out indoors.

Fifteen people have died in the blaze.

In the Tuesday night briefing, Honea identified Feather Falls residents Jacob Albright, 74, and Randy Harrell, 67, as well as Paul Winer, 68, of Berry Creek as victims of the fire.

Read More: Reno's air may see relief from California wildfire smoke soon but 'a lot can happen'

Previously, authorities have also identified seven others:

  • John Butler, age 79 of Berry Creek
  • Sandra Butler, age 75 of Berry Creek
  • Jorge Hernandez-Juarez, age 26 of Berry Creek
  • Philip Rubel, age 68 of Berry Creek
  • Khawar Bhatti, age 58 of Berry Creek
  • Millicent Catarancuic, age 77 of Berry Creek
  • Josiah Williams, age 16 of Berry Creek

Kristin Oh is a public safety reporter for the Reno Gazette Journal. She can be reached at koh@rgj.com. Please help support her work by subscribing.

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