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Beckwourth Complex Fire: Flare up causes mandatory evacuations in Plumas County

The Beckwourth Complex Fire combines both the Dotta Fire and Sugar Fire in Plumas National Forest.
Credit: ABC10

PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. — A flare up in the Beckwourth Complex Fire triggered mandatory evacuation orders from the Plumas County Sheriff's Office.

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.

Citing a flare up within the fire 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 and Frenchman Lake Cove.

The US Forest Service said the Sugar Fire crossed the containment line due to gusty southwest winds around 4:45 p.m. It was burning in a north east direction, south of Reconnaissance Peak, as of the forest service's last update.

Officials said crews will be providing structure protection around the Maddalena area. More firefighters are expected to respond to the fire on Wednesday.

Accounts to follow:

U.S. Forest Service-Plumas National Forest

Plumas County Sheriff's Office



An evacuation center is being set up at Portola Baptist Church on 171 Gulling Street.

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. 

Read more: Are you wildfire ready? Here's what to do to prepare for fire season.

PG&E customers can also subscribe to alerts via text, email, or phone call. If you're a PG&E customer, visit the Profile & Alerts section of your account to register.


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