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Bear Fire: Looking at Lake Oroville

The Lake Oroville State Recreation Area is being hit hard by the Bear Fire, also known as the North Complex West Zone. Here is what we know.

Posted: Sep 12, 2020 4:59 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2020 5:13 PM

LAKE OROVILLE STATE RECREATION AREA, Calif. - A lot of area surrounding Lake Oroville that is sitting within the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area was burned by the Bear Fire, also known as the North Complex West Zone. (All photos provided by CA State Parks)

The Bear Fire ignited by lightning strikes on Aug. 17, 2020, but swelled into a firestorm on Tuesday, Sept. 8 with the onset of an intense wind event. As it merged with another lightning-sparked fire near Quincy, it became known as the North Complex Fire. The Bear Fire , has burned over 72,500 acres with seven percent containment as of Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020.

The fire has severely damaged communities around Lake Oroville, including several Lake Oroville State Recreation Area (LOSRA) facilities, said California State Park officials.

The Loafer Creek Recreation Area remains an active fire zone, according to a press release provided by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Friday. Areas around the Enterprise Boat Ramp, Foreman Creek and other locations along the Middle and North Forks of Lake Oroville also remain in an active fire area.

The Bidwell Canyon Marina and Lime Saddle Marina have not sustained damage and there are currently no risks to Oroville Dam or its related structures. Due to continuing fire behavior, all LOSRA facilities are currently closed.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) continues to monitor the fire’s status and is actively working with CAL FIRE, local law enforcement partners, and California State Parks staff to ensure employee and public safety. DWR’s water delivery and other critical operations are ongoing with essential staff on site.

Oroville Recreation Closures Update

Due to fire impacts and continued danger to the public from the North Complex – West Zone fire, all Lake Oroville State Recreation Area facilities are closed until further notice, including the North Forebay and Clay Pit State Vehicular Recreation Area.

The Oroville Wildlife Area, including the Thermalito Afterbay, will remain open from 1.5 hours before sunrise to one hour after sunset.

Current recreation facility information can be found on DWR’s Lake Oroville Recreation webpage and the LOSRA webpage.

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Stronger winds are prompting a Wind Advisory in the valley today, and driving elevated fire danger for your Tuesday. We'll also have the chance for showers and thunderstorms in the Sierra and foothills. A big warming trend is ahead in your extended forecast.
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