Huge fire in Twin Peaks HMA nearing the end


Susanville, Calif., Aug. 29–Firefighters held the Rush fire in check on Tuesday, even with gusting winds.  Firefighters were busy Tuesday finding and quelling hot spots and putting out burning islands of vegetation.  These are scattered in the interior of the fire, especially in the northeast flank, about 25 miles northeast and east of Ravendale, Calif., in Nevada.

Hot spots continue to pose a risk of new fires should winds blow embers out of the burned area.

Ken Collum, the Bureau of Land Management’s manager for the Eagle Lake Field Office, flew over the fire Tuesday morning.  He reported that in the interior of the fire in California about 60 percent of the landscape was burned while 40 percent was not.  He noted deer, pronghorn antelope, and wild horses in and out of the burned areas.

On Wednesday, mop up and quelling hot spots continues.  Firefighters will continue making repairs from firefighting operations on the north flank, as well as hauling fire equipment from fire lines all around the fire back to the fire camp near Susanville.  More and more firefighters and equipment will be leaving the Rush fire in coming days.  If all goes well, a small group of firefighters will take over management of the fire this weekend.

As the fire has quieted down, firefighters have been able to more accurately map the fire with global-positioning equipment.  The acreage figures reported on Tuesday evening show that the Rush fire will go into the record books as the second largest in modern California history, having burned 271,911 acres in California and another 43,666 acres in Nevada.  Only the 2003 Cedar fire in San Diego County, which burned 273,246 acres, was larger.

Area and Road Closures in Effect: Public lands bounded by Highway 395 on the west, the Sand Pass Road and Nevada 447 on the east, the Wendel Road on the south, and Juniper Ridge Road to Buckhorn Road on the north are closed. The Buckhorn Road is closed from Nevada Highway 447 to the Marr Road in Calif. The Buffalo Meadows Road in Washoe Co., Nev., is also closed.  The Ramhorn Springs and Dodge Reservoir campgrounds remain closed.

NOTE:  Use of chainsaws on public lands managed by BLM in northeast California and far northwestern Nevada is suspended because of extreme fire danger.  Fire officials remind residents and visitors that fire restrictions are in effect for public lands and national forests in northeast California and far northwest Nevada.  Campfires are permitted only in posted recreation sites.

Started:  8/12/12 at 6:42 pm Expected Containment: 8/30/2012
Cause:  Lightning Committed Resources: 533 people
Fuels:  Fire is burning sagebrush, juniper,and grass Structures Threatened: 39 (20 residences; 1 commercial; 18 outbuildings)
Estimated Size: est. 315,577 acres (271,911 acres in California and 43,666 acres in Nevada) Structures Damaged or Destroyed: 1 (barn)
Containment: 82% Injuries: 3 minor

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