Out-of-control fire nearly doubles in size in Plumas National Forest

SAN FRANCISCO - An out-of-control fire has nearly doubled in size, scorching 11,000 acres in the Plumas National Forest, about 35 miles northeast of Oroville in northeastern California.

The fire is less than 5 percent contained, and flying embers started another fire about a mile and a half ahead of the existing blaze. The second fire has grown to almost 700 acres.

Authorities have no estimate on when they expect to contain the fire which threatens the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail, which runs from Canada to Mexico, was closed between the tiny community of Belden and the Humboldt Summit ridge. The area is about 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Sunday evening, the wind that had fanned the fire died down and the blaze became very smoky. That made it hard for air tankers to fight the fire, but the lack of wind kept the fire from spreading too much, said Plumas National Forest spokesman Fred Krueger.

Portions of Highway 70 are still closed from the Jarbo Gap to the Highway 70 junction with Highway 89.

No homes or other buildings were immediately threatened by the blaze in the rugged Feather River Canyon. Some residents of the area have voluntarily evacuated, but fire officials had no estimate on how many left their homes, Krueger said.

Almost 1,100 people are helping battle the fire, and there have been no injuries.

The fire was first reported Thursday afternoon at about 20 acres, on a steep slope near the small resort community of Storrie. The community itself was not threatened. No cause for the fire had been determined.


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