PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. — Update: 8:30 p.m. 

Containment on the largest wildfire of 2019 to date has reached 35% while total acres burned reaches 50,940.

As the night continues, firefighters aim to keep monitoring, strengthening, and improving containment lines while also keeping up firing operations to clean up any unburned fuel.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for the Murdock Crossing and Stony Ridge areas. Evacuation advisories are issued for the areas of Antelope Lake, Frank's Valley, Flournoy Bridge, and Milford.

Road closures include Janesville Grade, Genesee Valley Road at the Flournoy Bridge, Antelope Lake Road from the Flournoy Bridge to Antelope Dam, and beginning at the Flournoy Bridge turnoff, the 111 Beckwourth-Genesee Road is closed through the fire area.

Nearly 2,000 personnel are combating the Walker Fire. This includes a strike team of wildland fire engines from Burbank Paradise Fire Department, Denair Fire Department, Modesto Fire Department, Tuolumne Fire District, and Turlock Rural Fire Department.

Update:

Overnight from Thursday to Friday, the Walker Fire surpassed 50,000 acres. 

No structures have been impacted by the wildfire burning in the Plumas National Forest. Evacuation orders and road closures are still in effect for certain areas. 

Original story:

The Walker Fire, burning nearly 50,000 acres in the Plumas National Forest, is now the largest wildfire in California this year. 

At 49,272 acres and 28% contained, the fire is located about 11 miles east of Taylorsville, Calif. A Fire Weather Watch should go into effect beginning Sunday afternoon and last until Monday afternoon for the Walker Fire area.This area should expect gusty winds up to 45 mph and low humidity, which can cause fires to rapidly grow in size and intensity. 

Butte County residents have reported smelling smoke, which is believed to be drift smoke from the Walker Fire in Plumas County, according to the Butte County Fire Department. They're advising residents to not be concerned about the smoke.

Officials with the Plumas National Forest have issued a Forest Order for the Mt. Hough and Beckwourth Ranger Districts, which means National Forest trails and roads, as well as the land, within the area of the Walker Fire are closed to the public. 

Evacuation orders are still in effect for the Murdock Crossing and Stony Ridge areas. However, the Plumas County Sheriff Office has reduced the evacuation level from Mandatory to Advisory in all other areas.

Highway 395 is open to through traffic. However, the following roads are closed:

  • Janesville Grade
  • Genesee Valley road at the Flournoy Bridge
  • Antelope Lake road from the Flournoy Bridge to Antelope Dam and beginning at the Flournoy Bridge turnoff
  • the 111 Beckwourth-Genesee road is closed through the fire area.

The official cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

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