New Highway 70 fire grows to nearly 2...

New Highway 70 fire grows to nearly 2,400 acres

There are 13 comments on the Chico Enterprise-Record story from Jul 30, 2008, titled New Highway 70 fire grows to nearly 2,400 acres. In it, Chico Enterprise-Record reports that:

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered by the Plumas County Sheriff's Office for the area north of Highway 70 bounded by the communities of Rush Creek, Virgilia and Rich Bar, due to the Rich Fire.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chico Enterprise-Record.


United States

#1 Jul 30, 2008
how about the map?
Dale M

Chico, CA

#2 Jul 30, 2008
what started this one?

Salt Lake City, UT

#3 Aug 2, 2008
The cause of the Hwy 70 fire was railroad employees welding on the rails. Sparks caught the grasses around it and flared. I know this because I spent the previous four days out there. I even have some wicked pictures of the blaze from where I was staying right off of Rush Creek Road with a friend at his property. Very scarey views as well as thrilling to see the water droppers flying overhead.

“Just using common sense”

Since: May 08


#4 Aug 2, 2008
So they were welding on the tracks again, in the middle of fire season? Isn't that what started the Storrie fire? Whereabouts were they welding the track at?

Monroe, LA

#5 Aug 2, 2008
They were welding on the tracks right at Rich Bar. The actual fire started at appx 12:00pm on the 29th. I was doing gold prospecting at that time a quarter mile east of Rush Creek Road and staying with a friend who has land right on Rush Creek Rd. Tuesday and Wednesday nights were very hectic around there since it seemed like the fire was about to encroach on the land but it never did. Thursday, the water copters did a tremendous job in keeping the fire from spreading down to the property and the fire never showed its ugly face Thursday night. The men up there have a thankless job for the most part since nearly all the residents had evacuated the area. My friend decided not to and I stayed with the two people in my party to assist on helping him prepare his land for the fire. As of today, he has not been touched but another friend lost her house yesterday morning on the south side of the river part of the blaze. When I left yesterday morning to come home, I felt like I was abandoning my friends to the ravages of nature but I had no choice in doing so since I had to work today.

Unfortunately, they were welding again in the middle of fire season. But then whoever said the RR ppl had any sense? They certainly didn't learn anything from the Storrie fire in '98.

I heard about the origin from some of the fire fighters but they said itcame from the rails and the evidence they had found up to that time on Wed. showed it was being welded although no one from the RR has said anything or claimed any responsibility for it. As usual...

One good little story coming from the firefighters is that one of the fighters was working up on the upper Rush Creek area and he was working to set up a fire break when he caught a glimpse of something shining at his foot. When he bent down to pick it up, he found that he had stumbled upon a gold nugget that weighed 10 oz. I just hope that it doesn't take the fighters attention away from their jobs and make them all look for nuggets like that...

Grass Valley, CA

#6 Aug 2, 2008
U.P. and the State of California settled out of court on another case involving chemical spills and fuel spills. U.P. was to have started a training program for it's employees on clean up of hazardest spills and pay $100,000.00 for clean up of the affected area.
This had to do with the rail lines in the Feather River Canyon.
U.P. could get another court case on the Rich Fire. The State won't settle on this one. California has NO MONEY! U.P. has billions of dollars to pay for the cost of this fire. By the Union Pacific Rail Road not saying anything about what evidence was found says alot. This will not go away unless new evidence is found about another party starting Rich Fire.

“Just using common sense”

Since: May 08


#7 Aug 2, 2008
Thank you, my husband saw it start. He was driving truck up 70, saw a little bush on fire right next to the road, tried to call it in. He pulled up to the next turnout dropped his trailer real fast and turned around to look at it. By then he said it was roaring up the side of the mountain. He said it looked like it started right next to the tracks but wasn't sure.
Crazy RR people. They must not have learned from the million they had to pay out for Storrie.

Draper, UT

#8 Aug 2, 2008
The one thing about the Storrie fire is that there really wasn't any danger to residential buildings. Although there were gold prospectors who lost thousands of dollars worth of equipment there, no one really lost anything major. Except the general public for the loss of some really beautiful natural forest land. This time, the fire is raging where there are a lot of residences and the one I know that was burned down was listed as a National Historic site since it had been there since the Gold Rush days. I really do hope that the state doesn't back down from a fight with the RR. If anything, the Forest Service needs to get into the act and assist in the fight. They need to set a precedent in this and teach them that it ISN'T alright to start a fire and then ignore the fact that they really messed up. I shudder to look at my pictures of what was one a really beautiful area and see the devastation that has been leveled on the area due to carelessness of a group of individuals. Just because they helped pioneer the transportation industry into the area doesn't mean that they can destroy it. A million dollar fine for this would be nothing to them. Make it hurt they severely. A billion dollar fine would be more like it.

And to think that this rant is coming from someone who isn't even a resident of California. I have been coming out there for the last 4 1/2 years and each trip out, I grow to love the beauty of the region more each time. The state is a wonderful place to be and if I could afford to live there, I would willingly do so. As it sits, I will just have to enjoy it a little bit at a time. But the Feather River Canyon area is becoming a home away from home and I really detest the fact that the ugly will not go away in my lifetime. The area around Rush Creek has not suffered a fire in the last 120 years and now it is marred by this incident. It is a sad loss to the state.

Draper, UT

#9 Aug 2, 2008
If anyone is interested, here is a link to one of the pictures I took the evening of the second day of the fire off Rush Creek Road:

Since: Aug 08

Draper, UT

#10 Aug 3, 2008
dtud wrote:
how about the map?
In case you haven't been able to find a map, here is a link to one:

Wendover, UT

#11 Aug 1, 2010
Thanks so much for the info Jerrie, I am coming home from the Salt flats today and headed to Paradise. Think I'll take the Greenville - Almanor route home:) If 70 isn't open by this afternoon. Great pictures

Chico, CA

#12 Aug 1, 2010
It was not the railroad! you people are just making up shit because you're all loser that don't have anything to do! they do not do any welding on a weekend. also they have there own fire fighting equipment on hand with 5+ other guys.

Chico, CA

#13 Aug 1, 2010
also smart guys there is a bar out there. what do you think drunks do when they drink... smoke and do stupid drunk red neck shit.

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