California Wildfire Affected Areas: North Complex Fire

Bear Fire + Claremont Fire

2020 North Complex Fire

Butte County & Plumas County

318,935 Acres burned

Curtain Falls on Middle Feather River

The Bear Fire and the Claremont Fire were lightning strike forest fires that began in mid August - located in the remote, steep drainage of the Middle Feather River, between Lake Oroville and Quincy, CA. 

The two small fires were under managed in a granite canyon for 3 weeks, while numerous other lightning 'complex' fires raged throughout California. USFS Plumas fire managers decided it was best to merge these two fires - right before a big wind event. And then, all hell broke loose.

On Tuesday Sept 8, the northeasterly winds (blowing 60+ mph) pushed the combination fire westward, down canyon and like a funnel, it began spilling over into neighboring hills, forests and residential areas near Lake Oroville. Ancient forests, sacred sites, residential homes and historic cabins were torched in a matter of hours.

Total Escape founder, DanaMite, has personal, first hand experience and knowledge of this particular event; We are still living through it.

Our Front Yard View, Berry Creek, CA

Berry Creek, CA

Brush Creek, CA

Bucks Lake, CA

Junction House

Lumpkin Ridge

Meadow Valley, CA


Mountain House

Oroville, CA

Quincy, CA

Baby Buck - Lone Survivor

While the Claremont Fire was bearing down on the town of Quincy and vacation land at Bucks Lake, the Santa Cruz mountains and Redwood State Parks were burning at the coast. Few people paid much attention to the smaller Bear Fire, while it was smoldering in a deep, steep, inaccessible canyon. 

Firefighters managed to keep the Claremont Fire out of Quincy and Bucks Lake. However when the Bear Fire was merged with the Claremont - strong winds pushed flames down canyon in a matter of hours. 

The community of Berry Creek had no evacuation warnings, and also had no electric power (due to the power safety shutoff by PG&E) Losses were extreme: 2500 buildings were destroyed and 16 lives were lost in this wildfire.

CA State Route 162

Oro-Quincy Highway

Forest Road #119

Bucks Lake Road

Bucks Lake Wilderness

La Porte Road

PCT - Pacific Crest Trail

Plumas National Forest

Wild & Scenic Feather River

Dome Hiking Trail, Berry Creek, CA

Green Suspension Bridge @
Bidwell Bar, Lake Oroville CA

Bald Rock Trail

Bald Rock Road

Bidwell Bar Bridge

Bloomer Hill

Camel Peak

Canyon Creek

China Grade Road


Dome Trail 3

East Quincy

Feather Falls Trailhead

Feather River, Middle fork

Four Trees

French Plantation Hotel

Galen Ridge

Granite Basin

Hartman Bar Ridge

Indian Cemetery Road

Junction House

Lake Madrone

Lake Oroville SRA

Little Grass Valley Reservoir

Lumpkin Road

Meadow Vista


Milsap Bar

Mount Ararat

Mountain House

Plumas National Forest

Quartz Hill

Silver Lake @ Bucks

Sly Creek Reservoir 

Spring Valley

Stephens Ridge

Walker Plains

Zink Road

The Green Crack
Big Bald Rock View

Big Bald Rock View AFTER FIRE

Plumas Campgrounds affected by this fire:

Black Rock Campground

Feather Falls Campground

Golden Trout Campground

Little North Fork Campground

Lost Lake Camp

Milsap Bar Campground

Red Bridge Campground

Rogers Cow Camp

Silver Lake Campground @ Bucks

Sly Creek Campground

Choking on fire smoke for 3 weeks prior to wind event.

Plumas Forest Road #23N18

Plumas Forest Routes affected by this wildfire:

Oro-Quincy Highway

Forest Road #119

Bucks Lake Road

Forest Rte #23N18

Forest Rte #22N62 Milsap Bar

Forest Rte #23N60 Little North Fork

Forest Rte #23N52

French Creek Road

Stephens Ridge

Plumas Forest Rd #23N60

French Creek Detour - Autumn 2018