California

Walker Fire surpasses 48,000 acres, but crews get assist from cooler weather

Walker Fire explodes in this time lapse video from Day 3

This is time-lapse video of Day 3 of the Walker Fire taken from the Walker Helibase at the Quincy Airport on September 6, 2019. It captures the coordination of helicopter air operations supporting the Walker Fire when it made its 18,000 acre run.
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This is time-lapse video of Day 3 of the Walker Fire taken from the Walker Helibase at the Quincy Airport on September 6, 2019. It captures the coordination of helicopter air operations supporting the Walker Fire when it made its 18,000 acre run.

Crews made good progress Tuesday fighting the Walker Fire burning in Plumas National Forest, with growth slowing on the wildfire as cool, humid conditions offered relief.

Acreage increased just under 1,000 acres between Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The fire is now mapped at 48,321 acres with 20 percent containment, the U.S. Forest Service said in a 7:30 a.m. incident update. The blaze was 12 percent contained Tuesday morning.

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office has lifted mandatory evacuation orders in all areas except Murdock Crossing and Stoney. Several roadways remain closed near the fire, but Highway 395 is open to through traffic.

The wildfire has been now been burning for a full week, having sparked early morning last Wednesday about 11 miles east of Taylorsville. The fire erupted Friday, with erratic winds fueling growth from 2,000 acres to more than 17,000 acres in a matter of hours.

Crews benefited from showers and thunderstorms passing through the area early Tuesday evening, which reduced critical fire conditions, according to a Forest Service incident report. However, dry and warm conditions are expected to return to the area by the end of the week.

The wildfire is California’s largest of 2019 so far. No injuries have been reported and no structures have been destroyed, according to the Forest Service. A total of 1,284 personnel remain assigned to the blaze.

The cause of the Walker Fire remains under investigation.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.
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