Amid a historic heatwave and worsening wildfire conditions, the Beckwourth Complex Fire exploded to 83,926 acres by Sunday morning, with just 8 percent containment. It is now the largest wildfire in California during this fire season.
The Beckwourth Complex includes two lightning-caused wildfires – the Dotta and Sugar fires – which have been burning near the Nevada border since June 30. On Saturday, the fire jumped U.S. 395, closing the popular highway and putting more residents at risk.
The plume of smoke grew so big over the fire, there were even reports of lightning coming from the smoke. This extreme fire behavior is due to several factors aligning with critically dry and receptive fuels, hot temperatures, topography arrangement and southwest winds funneling through them.
Significant property damage has been seen in Doyle, California, but it is currently unknown how many structures were burned. Videos show the carnage in the small town:
Evacuations have been issued in parts of Plumas and Lassen counties for residences along the South side of Highway 70 between Beckwourth-Genesee Road and the Plumas/Lassen County line has been reduced to an Evacuation Warning. U.S. 395 is closed from Hallelujah Junction to County Road A-26 in Lassen County, Caltrans said. State Route 284 is also closed at the junction with State Route 70 in Plumas County until further notice.
Here are orders from Lassen County:
- Scott Road from Hwy 70 north to the end.
- North and south sides of Doyle Grade from the Lassen/Plumas County line east to the intersection of US 395 but not including Laura Drive.
- Doyle Grade where it intersects with US 395 south to Red Rock Road on the west side of US 395 only.
Evacuation Warnings have been issued for the following areas:
- Residents both east and west of US 395 from County Road A26 south to Doyle Grade and from Red Rock Road south to the Sierra/Lassen County line.
- Residents east of US 395 from where it intersects with Doyle Grade south to Red Rock road.
We will continue to update this situation as more information is made available.