The Walker Fire started on September 4th 2019 along the Beckwourth-Genesee Road in Central Plumas County, about 11 miles east of Taylorsville and burned for three weeks. By the time it was 100% contained on September 26, the fire had burned 54,608 acres—California’s largest fire this season—and destroyed nine structures. The fire threatened several houses and ranches in Genesee Valley, including FRLT’s Heart K Ranch, but all structures on the Ranch and homes in Genesee Valley came through without damage.

From the beginning, our staff worked closely with fire personnel to incorporate protection of the historic structures, sensitive cultural sites, and unique habitat features found on the Heart K Ranch and in the greater Genesee Valley into fire suppression planning. Following a policy and procedure we developed three years ago in consultation with fire agencies, FRLT worked directly with the incident management team to provide support, local knowledge, mapping resources, and on the ground orientation to assist with fire suppression planning efforts.

The Heart K Ranch served as a staging area for mixing and loading fire retardant. FRLT entered into a contract with the US Forest Service to ensure that the site is restored after the firefighting operations were finished, including restoring soils impacted during the property’s use and re-establishing seed.

We send out a big thank you to our friends and neighbors who volunteer for our local fire departments and provided structure protection from Day 1, and to all who supported one another during such a scary time. And we want to thank all the firefighters from throughout the west who came to the region to join the fight. More than 2,000 personnel fought the fire from the ground and the air. 

We wish everyone impacted by this fire peace and we’re grateful that the fire is 100% contained. It’s one of the things we’ll be celebrating at our Fall Celebration at the Heart K on October 19!

To sign up for future Code Red emergency notifications, visit the Plumas County Sheriff's office webpage: plumascounty.us/587/Sheriff-Coroner

Stewardship Manager Nils Lunder working with firefighters at the Heart K main ranch house

Our leasee's cows in an irrigated field on the Heart K Ranch in Genesee Valley

The western edge of the Walker Fire as seen from the Heart K Ranch main ranch house

Nils Lunder and firefighters assess the situation from Ward Creek Road

A helicopter flying through the smoke in Genesee Valley

Photos 1-5 by Shelton Douthit, 6-7 by Nils Lunder.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019