Plumas County burns California, Two large wildfires in rural Northern California force evacuations

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Plumas County burns California, Two large wildfires in rural Northern California force evacuations.

Two wildfires have burned more than 45,000 acres in rural Northern California and are continuing to grow.

As of Sunday morning, the Walker Fire had burned just over 38,000 acres in the Plumas National Forest of the Sierra Nevada. Meanwhile, the Red Bank Fire is a little over 8,800 acres in the mountains of Tehama County.

Neither fire has destroyed any buildings so far, though officials have ordered evacuations in both areas.

The Walker Fire started Wednesday near the small Plumas County community of Taylorsville, and was 5 percent contained as of Sunday morning, the U.S. Forest Service said.

About 660 firefighters are working to contain the blaze with help from air tankers, the Forest Service said. “A sustained 18 mile an hour wind impacted fire activity during the (Saturday) evening hours and the fire made a significant run spotting ahead of itself to the east in the Round Mountain area,” a post from the service on Facebook said Sunday morning.

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Orders to evacuate are still in place for residents residing along Hwy 395 from the Thunder Mountain Road (Wales Canyon) to the Laufman Grade (Old Hwy 59), including the communities of Milford and Brockman Canyon, the Forest Service said.

Evacuations are also mandatory from Antelope Lake to the Plumas county line, as well as in the Genesee Valley road corridor, the Ward Creek area, and the Flournoy Bridge area.

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An Evacuation Center is set up at Lassen County Fairgrounds, in Susanville, at 195 Russell Ave.

The Red Bank Fire was sparked by lightning just after noon Thursday about 30 miles west of the city of Red Bluff, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It quickly grew to 6,000 acres by that night.

On Sunday morning, the blaze covered 8,838 acres and was threatening 25 buildings. The fire is 20 percent contained, according to CalFire, which has sent just over 1,900 firefighters to the blaze.

Authorities have issued mandatory evacuation orders for areas south of Highway 36 between Tedoc Road and Vestal Road, and between the Shasta-Trinity National Forest boundary and the Four Corners intersection.

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An evacuation warning has been issued for the greater Red Banks community east of Joint Road located on and from Bell Road, CalFire said.
CalFire officials said fighting the Red Bank fire has been difficult because it is burning in what they described as “remote, very steep, rocky terrain.” Adding to the challenge is hot and dry weather, with high winds forecast for the weekend.

The few roads in the area are narrow, making it hard to access the blaze, CalFire said, so plans are being drawn up to fly crews to the fire line.

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