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Panther Fire Triples in Size, Engulfing 7,000 Acres

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Updated: 5/02/2013 5:42 pm
Wednesday afternoon, a smoky haze rose up over the mountains east of Highway 99 near Butte Meadows, and blew north, south, and west over Tehama County.  Many people were concerned a new fire had started north of Los Molinos, because they weren't sure which direction the smoke was coming from.  Says Brian Lamb, "The wind coming down and swirling around, when it hits the mountains, I thought this was north when I first saw it this afternoon up past Red Bluff.  But I guess this is all from Highway 32. 
Wednesday night, Cal Fire reported that the Panther Fire had been driven by high winds, and blew up during the afternoon and evening hours.  It grew from 300 to 1,500 acres in just a few hours.  The Cedar Fire, burning just 12 miles away, hadn't grown in size because of it's position in the canyon, and was 40 percent contained, and holding at 55 acres.
Cal Fire firefighters continue to fight the flames overnight from the ground, and the air assault will most likely resume in Thursday morning.
Update: The Panther Fire has gone from 1,500 acres to 1,600 overnight with firefighters still trying to get containment.

(UPDATE) 10:30 a.m., May 2-

CEDAR: The Cedar Fire is holding at 55 acres with 50% containment at the 10 E-Line, South of Butte Meadows. Current personnel include eight hand crews, three dozers, 15 engines, four water tenders and six overhead personnel, bringing the total personnel to 184. The fire is burning in timber and timber slash. The Cedar Fire remains approximately 12.3 miles away from the Panther Fire. No road closures, evacuations, or property damage has been reported.

PANTHER: The Panther Fire currently burning at 2,000 acres with 10% containment at the 140K3 Line North of Butte Meadows in Tehama County. Personnel include 24 hand crews, eight dozers, 27 engines, four air tankers, nine helicopters, five water tenders and 55 overhead personnel, bringing the total personnel to 497. Conditions are windy and dry. Burning in timber and timber slash. Moderate to rapid rate of spread in steep terrain. Fire is in the Mill Creek and Deer Creek drainages. There is no imminent structure or infrastructure threat. The Panther Fire is being driven by gusty down-canyon winds. Use of fire crews is critical due to rugged terrain. Incident base has been set up at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds and CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 4 has been activated. Fire activities will not impact planned activities at the fairgrounds this weekend.

(UPDATE) 3:37 p.m.- The Panther Fire has more than tripled in size, engulfing 7,000 acres at 10% containment at the 140K3 Line North of Butte Meadows in Tehama County. Current staffing includes 24 hand crews, eight dozers, 27 engines, four air tankers nine helicopters, five water tenders and 55 overhead personnel, bringing the total number of personnel to 497. No road closures, evacuations or structure damage has been reported. Conditions remain very dry and windy as the fire continues to scorch timber and timber slash. The fire is moving at a moderate to rapid rate of speed in steep terrain. The Panther Fire is in the Mill Creek and Deer Creek drainages in the Ishi Wilderness Area.

There is no imminent structure or infrastructure threat. Fire is being driven by gusty down-canyon winds Incident base has been set up at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds and CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 4 has been activated. Fire activities will not impact planned activities at the fairgrounds this weekend. Increase in acreage due to extreme fire behavior and better mapping. The Panther Fire remains approximately 12.3 miles from Cedar Fire, which has not increased in size since 10:30 a.m. this morning.




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