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Friday Clover Fire Update: Residents Returning Home; Fire 80 Percent Contained

Because the Clover Fire is in the mop-up phase and is expected to be fully contained by Sunday,  this will probably be one of our last Clover Fire updates.

However, watch for upcoming after-fire stories here on anewscafe.com in the next few days by myself and reporter Candace Brown, as well as slideshows of some of the more dramatic fire shots submitted by readers.

Here’s the update for today, Sept. 13 for the Clover Fire in the area of Igo and Happy Valley.

According to Cal Fire information officer Mike Witesman, the Clover Fire is 80 percent contained and has burned 8,073 acres. Full containment is expected Sunday, and the “repopulation” phases are going even better than expected, with evacuees returning to their homes as those areas  Cal Fire gives the green light to residents only.

He said many Ono/Platina area residents will be delighted to learn that they can take Clear Creek Road, rather than Placer.

The Clover Fire work baton now changes hands from the firefighters who’ve extinguished the flames to PG&E crews who must repair downed power lines and poles.

Witesman, in our Friday morning conversation, said that the fire is nearly fully extinguished to the point where there’s very little smoke. Just 50 structures remain threatened, down drastically from between 300 to 500 in previous days. He said 68 residences and 128 outbuildings were destroyed and five residences and 10 outbuildings damaged.

Witesman was able to provide an explanation for the sharp increase in destroyed residences reported between Wednesday and Thursday, when the number of destroyed residences leapt from 37 on Wednesday to 68 on Thursday.

He said it wasn’t necessarily that more homes continued to burn during that time period, but a matter of firefighters gaining access to areas during mop-up to assess the damage.

“Most of those homes probably burned within the first eight hours of the fire,” Witesman said. “But we didn’t know exactly how many had burned until crews could get in there later.”

The number of injuries remains at four, with one fatality, Brian Stanley Henry of Igo, who died after he chose to stay on his Small Farms property despite evacuation orders.

According to Cal Fire information, today its staff, along with Shasta County Sheriff,  Shasta County Public Works, and PG&E, will continue to work to eliminate hazards within the fire’s perimeter with the goal of safely returning evacuees to their homes.

Phase I of the re-population plan was implemented yesterday. Meanwhile, firefighters continue to make great progress on strengthening control lines, and mopping up hot spots around the fire perimeter.

Fire suppression repair and rehabilitation has begun. Cal Fire’s damage inspection team will continue to assess damaged properties within the affected communities.

Click here for CalFire’s “repopulation” schedule for allowing residents to return to their homes.

(Photos may be submitted by Saturday for possible inclusion in the upcoming slideshows to Joe Domke at joedomke@gmail.com . Write: Fire slideshow photos in the subject line. Please include your name, city and photo locations.)