A wildfire inside Northern California's Plumas National Forest is seen on Aug. 11.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Chips Fire
QUINCY, Calif. -- Ash from the Chips Fire in the Feather River Canyon is falling in the Lake Almanor area, bringing home to this area how big the fire has grown.
Gusty winds whipped up the ash from the fire, which grew roughly 7,000 acres on Friday, to about 27,000 acres and about 7 percent contained.
Power was out in Almanor, Chester, Quincy and Greenville for a time when PG&E deactivated transmission lines as a safety measure for firefighters. Smoke was causing arcing in the lines, according to PG&E, as well as air tankers were targeting the area near lines.
Residents of two mountain communities were told to pack their bags Friday and be out of their homes immediately as the Chips Fire rocketed in size.
Mandatory evacuation notices went out to Rush Creek and Seneca from the Plumas County Sheriff's Office that residents need to get out, chased by the Chips Fire that started almost two weeks ago.
"It really got windy today, really active. The wind lined up with the drainages and just blew," Chips Fire spokesman Howard Hunter said Friday.
Power was out to about 11,000 customers scattered around Lake Almanor, Canyon Dam and Chester.
"The fire is still five miles away, but when people see ash, they get worried," said Hunter.
Forest officials moved their headquarters from Quincy to Lake Almanor on Friday. However, Highway 70 was still open, although the fire had reached the road. However, residents between Tobin and Twain are still being advised an evacuation is possible.
"Critical fire conditions including high temperatures, gusty winds and very low humidity gave rise to extreme fire behavior on the eastern flank of the Chips Fire today, beginning about 4 p.m.," said a fire press release.
"Affected areas are the Mosquito Creek and Caribou Ravine," which prompted the two evacuation notices.
Seneca is off Caribou Road, and southeast of Butt Valley Reservoir, and nearby Rush Creek.
The spot fire is within the contingency lines that are being improved between Butt Valley Reservoir and the North Fork of the Feather River.
The Yellow Creek to Butt Valley Reservoir to Humbug Road lines are in place, according to fire officials.
Containment was not expected until Aug. 31.
As of Thursday, there was no indication that Seneca would face an evacuation. Fire officials said there wasn't even an advisory out for the community.
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