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Beckwourth Complex Fire: More evacuations ordered

The Sugar Fire, which is part of the Beckwourth Complex Fire, has spread due to winds.

PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. — On Tuesday afternoon, the Sugar Fire, one of two wildfires that make up the Beckwourth Complex Fire, jumped containment lines and burned thousands of acres overnight. 

Citing the flare up on Tuesday, the Plumas County Sheriff's Office issued evacuation orders for Beckwourth Genesee Road to Harrison Ranch Road. An evacuation advisory was also put into effect for Dixie Valley. On Wednesday afternoon, residents of Frenchman Lake Cove were given an evacuation order requiring them to leave the area immediately. 

1,875 acres burned overnight amid gusty 20-35 mph winds. The Beckwourth Complex is currently at 3,035 acres total according to the latest update. The Dotta Fire is 40% contained and the Sugar Fire, the larger of the two, is 28% contained. 

The Beckwourth Complex is composed of the Sugar Fire, which started west of Sugarloaf Peak in Plumas National Forest, and the Dotta Fire, which ignited in the area of Dotta Canyon in Plumas National Forest. Officials say both fires were started by lightning.

Accounts to follow:

U.S. Forest Service-Plumas National Forest

Plumas County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Plumas National Forest

Evacuations

Wildfire preps

According to Cal Fire, 2020 was one of the most severe fire seasons on record as 9,917 wildfires burned 4.2 million acres. Over 9,000 structures were destroyed, and 31 people (civilians and firefighters) were killed. 

California also experienced its first "Gigafire" because of the August Complex Fire, burning over 1 million acres by itself. Four of California's top five largest wildfires in state history happened in 2020. 

If you live in a wildfire-prone zone, Cal Fire suggests creating a defensible space around your home. Defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation and other debris are completely cleared. At least 100 feet is recommended.

WATCH: What you need to know to prepare, stay safe for wildfires

The Department of Homeland Security suggests assembling an emergency kit that has important documents, N95 respirator masks, supplies to grab with you if you’re forced to leave at a moment’s notice. The agency also suggests signing up for local warning system notifications and know your community’s evacuation plans best to prepare yourself and your family in cases of wildfires.

Some counties use Nixle alerts to update residents on severe weather, wildfires, and other news. To sign up, visit www.nixle.com or text your zip code to 888777 to start receiving alerts. 

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