Walker Fire burning in Plumas National Forest makes ‘significant run,’ evacuations remain

Update Monday: ‘Critical fire weather’ pushes huge blaze in Northern California to nearly 44,000 acres

From Sunday: The Walker Fire, a large wildfire burning in the Plumas National Forest near Quincy in Northern California, grew to 38,049 acres, swelling overnight as strong winds whipped up the flames.

The wildfire, now at 5 percent containment, started Wednesday about 11 miles east of Taylorsville and was reported at 2,000 acres by Friday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

But incoming winds grew the blaze to 17,000 acres by Friday evening and 24,000 acres by Saturday.

Winds in the area reached 18 miles per hour Saturday evening, and fire crews worked to create a fireline ahead of anticipated expansion zones, according to the forest service. Winds allowed the blaze to make “a significant run spotting ahead of itself to the east in the Round Mountain area,” the forest service said.

The wildfire is threatening structures, but none have been reported destroyed. It is burning grass and timber 120 miles northeast of Sacramento.

“Today crews will continue securing the 25N42 road and patrol around structures on the southwest and southern edge of the fire looking for spot fires,” the U.S. Forest Service said in a morning update on Sunday. “More resources have arrived and will continue to construct containment line along the fire’s edge where possible, reinforce roads used for containment, as well as look for areas further out from the fire to construct fireline with the highest probability of successfully containing the fire. Crews will continue to be supported by aircraft as smoke and wind permit.”

Evacuation orders remain for many residents of the area, including those in the Genesee Valley road corridor, the Ward Creek area, the Flournoy Bridge area, the communities of Milford and Brockman Canyon, along Highway 395 from Thunder Mountain Road to the Laufman Grade and the area from Antelope Lake to the Plumas county line, according to the forest service.

The Lassen County Fairgrounds at 195 Russell Ave. in Susanville has been established as an evacuation center, according to the forest service.

Several other wildfires are raging in Northern California, including the 8,838-acre Red Bank Fire in Tehama County and the 400-acre Swedes Fire in Butte County, according to Cal Fire.

Related stories from Modesto Bee

Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.