Containment of Campbell Fire increases as crews battle blaze, cold weather

Jan 7, 2014 11:55 AM

Heidi Perry of the U.S. Forest Service stated this morning containment and acreage of the Campbell Fire has increased to 746 acres and 55 percent containment. Perry stated one of the greatest logistical challenges in fighting this fire isn’t the fire itself, the cold conditions crews are not accustomed to working in.

Perry indicated to Action News Now this morning the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, Calif., was designated as the fire camp site not only because it can hold the over 500 fire personnel, but also because it is warmer in the valley floor than in the foothills near the fire. Although fire crews welcome the warmer temperatures when they awake each morning, the long drives north and hikes into the rugged terrain delay efforts to fully contain the fire which continues to burn into its fifth day.

“This fire has posed some interesting challenges because we usually don’t fight these kind of fires this time of year,” said Perry. “We’ve also had an air tanker from Nevada which was delayed because it needed its internal pumps defrosted and we’ve have had to call in extra resources usually unavailable this time of year.”

Perry also said keeping fire crews healthy is also a top priority in the frigid condition. There is a general concern of crew members becoming sick after working hard and sweating all day only to sit in cold conditions on the ride back or in their encampment back in Chico.

The Campbell Fire, burning approximately 20 miles east of Red Bluff and just a few miles away from Campbellville, was first reported last Thursday night. Although acreage has steadily increased, so too has the containment of the fire. It poses no threat to structures or residences at this time. Perry said crews will continue to work hard with the goal of fully containing the fire sometime tomorrow.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The estimated cost of the fire to date is $850,000.


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