22 Jun 2008, 11:52pm
California
by admin

BTU/Butte Lightning Complex Fires

Location: N of Paradise, Butte Co., CA

Specific Location: Lat 39° 31′ 32″; Lon 121° 34′ 7″

Date of Origin: 06/21/08
Cause: Lightning

Situation as of 08/01/08 6:30 AM
Total Personnel: 811
Size: 64,955 acres
Percent Contained: 100%

Costs to Date: $88,100,000

Excess incident resources are being released to support new fires. CAL FIRE ICT-5 transitioned the incident to the Butte Unit at 0700, today August 1, 2008. Visible smokes continue to diminish near the control lines. A number of islands well within the control lines are showing few smokes. Last IR flight confirms no new heat sources.

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Situation as of 07/31/08 5:00 PM
Total Personnel: 1,081
Size: 64,955 acres
Percent Contained: 100%

Costs to Date: $87,600,000

Structures Destroyed: 106 residences, 11 outbuildings

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Situation as of 07/29/08 5:00 PM
Total Personnel: 1,218
Size: 59,440 acres
Percent Contained: 100%

Costs to Date: $85,300,000

100% containment of Camp Fire. Firing operations have been discontinued. Containment lines are holding at this time. Primary line constructed to contain slopovers in Rock Creek drainage is being strengthened.

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Situation as of 07/28/08 6:30 AM
Total Personnel: 1,281
Size: 59,440 acres
Percent Contained: 95%

Costs to Date: $84,000,000

The firing operation in the Long Branch has been discontinued. Fuel and weather conditions are not conducive for a successful burning operations. Surface winds are testing containment lines and causing some flare-ups.

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Situation as of 07/25/08 5:00 PM
Total Personnel: 1,580
Size: 59,440 acres
Percent Contained: 92%

Costs to Date: $79,200,000

Cal Fire ICT-5 (Streblow) assumed command of the Butte Lightning Complex yesterday at 0700 hours. The firing operation in Divisions I & J has been discontinued. Fuel and weather conditions are not conducive to a successful burning operation. 200 members of the California Air National Guard and their trainers will be joining the incident tomorrow Saturday, July, 26 for two days of training and will be assigned to the Breakneck Fire area.

A 2,000 acre growth is likely due to slopovers in the Rock Creek area. A primary line constructed to contain slopovers in Rock Creek drainage is being strengthened.

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Situation as of 07/23/08 7:45 AM
Total Personnel: 1,783
Size: 59,440 acres
Percent Contained: 90%

Costs to Date: $75,100,000

Structures Destroyed: 106 residences, 11 outbuildings

The Frey fire was delegated back to the Butte Complex at 0700, 7/21/08, which resulted in a 4,000 acre growth in acreage (and a 4,000 acre reduction in the Canyon Complex). Number of residences destroyed has increased due to updated information provided by Butte County building and assessors departments.

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Situation as of 07/20/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 1,706
Size: 55,240 acres
Percent Contained: 90%

Costs to Date: $70,200,000

The fire crossed containment lines in the Rock Creek area this afternoon. Slopovers and spot fires in the old Storrie burn. Additional 2,000 acre growth likely due to slopovers in the Rock Creek area.

The FreyFire will be delegated from the Canyon Complex back to the Butte Complex at 0700, 7/21/08.

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Situation as of 07/17/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,011
Size: 54,424 acres
Percent Contained: 85%

Costs to Date: $64,000,000

Structures Destroyed: 50 residences,10 outbuildings

Estimated Containment Date: 07/24/2008

Hwy 70 is still impacted by hazard trees, but is open to controlled traffic.

Camp Fire 85% contained. Fire made runs today on the north end of the Complex, but still remains within the planned secondary containment lines. Drier weather and an increase of winds are encouraging hot spots with unconsumed fuels burn. A large potential for reburn in timber still exists, and unburned islands of the Complex continue to burn.

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Situation as of 07/16/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,184
Size: 54,300 acres
Percent Contained: 80%

Costs to Date: $61,400,000

Est containment date: 07/24/2008

Structures Destroyed: 50 residences, 10 outbuildings

HWY 70 is still impacted by hazard trees, but is open to controlled traffic.

Camp Fire 80% contained. Crews were flown into the north side of the Complex today and will remain in place for a 2nd Operational Period.

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Situation as of 07/15/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,582
Size: 54,200 acres
Percent Contained: 75%

Costs to Date: not reported. est. $55 million

Hwy 70 has been reopened to controlled traffic piloted from Grand View to Pulga Station.

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Situation as of 07/13/08 8:00 AM
Total Personnel: 3,132
Size: 53,000 acres
Percent Contained: 65%

Costs to Date: $49.5 million

Immediate Threat Evacuation Advisory for residents of Yankee Hill south to Lake Oroville rescinded. Residents in these areas will no longer be under an evacuation advisory. Residents may return to their homes.

Immediate Threat Evacuation Advisory for the homes accessed from Truex Road west of Hwy 70 has been rescinded. No evacuation advisories are in affect for these homes. Residents may return home.

Immediate Threat Evacuation Advisory for homes east of Hwy. 70 accessed from Big Bend Road will be downgraded to a Precautionary Evacuation Advisory. Residents can return home but must be prepared to evacuate if the advisory is upgraded.

Immediate Threat Evacuations remain in effect for Jarbo Gap, Concow, Camelot and for all areas west of Hwy. 70 between Lunt Road and Andy Mountain/Rim Road and west to the Feather River.

The following road closures will now be in effect:

Hwy. 70 will be closed at Big Bend Road to Hwy. 89 (Greenville “Y”)
Lunt Road at Hwy. 70
Concow Road at Hwy. 70
Pinkston Canyon at Hwy. 70

No civilian traffic will be allowed on Hwy. 70 beyond Big Bend Road.

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Situation as of 07/11/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 3,212
Size: 49,000 acres
Percent Contained: 40%

Costs to Date: $43,900,000

Evacuations are being reassessed with cooperating agencies and EOC’s. One confirmed civilian fatality occurred on the Camp Fire during the early morning of July 8.

Structures Destroyed: 50 residences, 10 outbuildings

Direct and indirect line construction completed on much of the Camp Fire. Firing operation near Jarbo Gap to bring fire down to HWY 70 should be completed this afternoon.

As of 0800 tomorrow the SmokeyFire will be transitioned back to the Butte Unit. There are 41 fires, 5 are known to be active, 15 fires are contained and 17 fires have been absorbed by other fires.

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Concow resident overcome by fire

The Butte County Sheriffs department has just released information of a fatality from the Camp Fire in the Concow area. [here]

From the Butte County Sheriff
July 11, 2008 11:45 a.m.

The Sheriff’s Office has confirmed the discovery of human remains in the Concow area. The remains were located in an evacuated area after the fires had destroyed the residence.

We are saddened by the loss of one of our community members but hope that providing this information will encourage people in evacuation areas to heed the warnings so that they and their families would be safe.

It is important to keep in mind that evacuation orders are not made lightly and done in the interest of the safety of the people in the area being evacuated.

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Situation as of 07/08/08 11:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,277
Size: 47,000 acres
Percent Contained: 40%

Under strong east winds and very low humidities the Camp fire, ~23,000 acres, breached containment lines and pushed into the Concow area last night. Approx 300 homes affected. The Camp fire is in the West Branch of the North Fork of the Feather River, threatening the east side of the town of Paradise.

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Situation as of 07/08/08 5:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,277
Size: 37,000 acres
Percent Contained: 55%

Costs to date: $32,500,0

In addition to the 3pm evacuations listed below, the Butte County Sherriff’s Office has issued the following new Precautionary Evacuation Advisory: The east side of the Skyway from Coutolenc Rd. up to De Sabla Reservoir and all cross roads running east of Skyway in between.

At least five homes have burned in the Concow area, according to Cal Fire-Butte County, as of 11:00 am. The homes were consumed by the expanding Camp Fire.

Record temperatures are anticipated today with the possibility of the mercury rocketing as high 115 degrees in the valley, according to the National Weather Service.

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Evacuations Advisory Issued For Portions of Paradise, 07/08/2008

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office and the Town of Paradise Police Department have issued the following Evacuations’ due to fires on the Butte Lightning Complex:
Immediate Threat Evacuations:

Butte County: Residents in the County area of Berry Creek off of upper and lower bald Rock Road at Oro-Quincy Highway, Rockefeller at Bean Creek Road and all connectors, Milsap Bar to the River.

Town of Paradise: Residents in the Town of Paradise on the East side of Pentz Road from the Skyway at Pentz Rd. south to the Town limits at Malibu Drive.

Residents should evacuate their homes and proceed immediately to the evacuation center. A fire is moving towards your area and there is an immediate threat to life and property. All roads in the area will be closed to incoming traffic.

Evacuees should register with the Red Cross at the evacuation center in order to help locate family members and help to facilitate re-entry to the affected area
when the advisories have been lifted.

Immediate Threat Evacuation Advisory Area Expanded

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office has issued an “Immediate Threat Evacuation Advisory” for the community of Concow, which encompass Truex Road from Hwy. 70 north to Rim Road and all cross streets (including Hoffman Road, Hog Ranch Road, and High Winds Road), North of Hwy. 70. The Camp Fire has moved south towards Concow Road and is now being influenced by the east winds. The fire is now a threat to the community of Concow and Yankee Hill north of Hwy. 70 and Concow Road.

Residents should evacuate their homes and proceed immediately to the evacuation center. A fire is moving towards your area and there is an immediate threat to life and property. All roads in the area will be closed to incoming traffic. Evacuees should register with the Red Cross at the evacuation center in order to help locate family members and help to facilitate re-entry to the affected area when the advisories have been lifted.

Public Evacuation Locations:

Las Plumas High School – 2380 Las Plumas Ave., Oroville, CA 95965 530-538-2310

Neighborhood Church- 2801 Notre Dame Blvd., Chico 530-343-6006

Animal/Pet Shelter Location:

Chico State Farm (Large Animals) – 311 Nicholas C. Schouten Lane (off Hagen Ln.)

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Situation as of 07/07/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,277
Size: 30,000 acres
Percent Contained: 55%

Costs to date: $31,200,000

The Belden fire is holding between Chips Creek and Little Indian Creek. Camp Fire burned through primary lines at the south end. A fire was found near the Breakneck Fire approximately 10 acres, Retson Fire, 85 percent contained as of 1700hrs.

There are 41 fires, 14 are known to be active, 14 fires are contained, and 13 fires have been absorbed by other fires.

The hard closure of Highway 70 continues. Supported Cub Fire with structure protection contingency in Jonesville. Cooperation continues with the Canyon Complex and the Cub Complex.

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Situation as of 07/06/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,414
Size: 27,000 acres
Percent Contained: 55%

Costs to date: $28,600,000

Hwy. 70 has been closed from 3 miles west of Pulga to Hwy. 89 at the Greenville “Y”.

The Butte Lightning Complex currently consists of 38 fires. Eleven fires are still actively burning. It is important to reiterate that all residents who live in or near the affected areas should continue to maintain a heightened state of awareness as this fire complex is still actively burning. Officials are encouraging residents to monitor the fire situation in and around their area via the local radio, television and other media outlets.

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Situation as of 07/05/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,600
Size: 21,170 acres
Percent Contained: 45%

Costs to date: $25,800,000

Preparation continues on the indirect line on the 26N26 Road to Highway 70 and around infrastructure in the Feather River Canyon. Attempts to join the Camp Branches continue. Falling Crews are working with CAL TRANS to fall hazard trees along Highway 70.

There is a Hard Closure of Highway 70.

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Situation as of 07/04/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,539
Size: 19,515 acres
Percent Contained: 40%

Costs to date: $23,000,000

Structures Threatened: 1,200 OUTB , 1,200 PRIM Structures Destroyed: 2 PRIM

There are 38 fires, 11 are known to be active, 2 fires are unstaffed (contradicting yesterday’s report), 12 fires are contained, and 15 fires have been absorbed by other fires.

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Situation as of 07/03/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,408
Size: 20,000 acres
Percent Contained: 40%

Costs to date: $18,700,000

Hwy 70 is closed from the Greenville “Y” (Hwy 89 and Hwy 70) on the east to 3 miles west of Pulga on the west (near the Plumas Forest boundary). Hwy 70 will be open to residents only from the Greenville “Y” to Belden. No civilian traffic will be permitted fom Belden to Pulga.

Last night 7 miles of firing was completed on the Camp fire. The Camp fire is now at 9600 acres. The Breakneck fire is now 90% contained, however yesterday there was a 2 acre spot fire, which posses a threat to the fire significantly growing. The active fires continue to have afternoon spotting. Firefighting resources continue to establish control lines. Resources are hampered by lack of overhead leadership, steep terrain, and heavy fuels. The Rim fire is lined and declared contained. Resources on the Frey will now work towards preventing the South fire from moving south onto SRA under the command of IMT 3. Aircraft were able to fly most fires today with the inversion lifting, however unable to fly the fires along Highway 70 due to the smoke. The Complex provided a Strike Team of Type 1 engines to the Canyon Complex for Structure Protection in Belden.

There are 36 fires, 13 are known to be active, all active fires are staffed.

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Situation as of 07/02/08 6:45 PM
Total Personnel: 2,408
Size: 17,500 acres
Percent Contained: 35%

Costs to date: $17.3 million

The Butte County Emergency Operations Center closed the evacuation shelters yesterday at 4:00 p.m.

“New” 7/2 - Traffic Hazards Prompt Closure of Highway 70 Through Fire Area

Thirteen fires are still actively burning.

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Situation as of 07/01/08 2:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,389
Size: 17,000 acres
Percent Contained: 30%

Costs to date: $14.7 million

Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, Butte County Fire, Chico Fire, Oroville Fire, Paradise Fire, CHP, Butte County Public Works, Butte County Sheriff, USFS, OES, LA County, Orange County, Alameda County, Ventura County, CDCR and CCC. CAL FIRE Incident Command Team #9 is assigned to this incident.

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Situation as of 06/30/08 9:00 PM
Total Personnel: 2,328
Size: 16,000 acres
Percent Contained: 25%

Costs to date: $12.2 million

Highway 70 re-opened to one way escorted traffic.

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HIGHWAY 32 NOW CLOSED: State Route 32 is NOW closed from the Junction of SR 36 in Tehama County to .5 mile south of the Tehama / Butte County Line due to fire. Motorists
advised to use alternate route.

Situation as of 06/30/08 9:00 AM
Total Personnel: 2,199
Size: 16,000 acres
Percent Contained: 25%

Costs to date: $11 million

The Boy Scout camp in Butte Meadows remains under an immediate evacuation order.

Multiple fires located on Highway 70 in Feather River Canyon remain un-staffed. Plans are being developed to construct indirect line, which will result in combining the fires to a 23,000-acre burn area.

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Situation as of 06/28/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 1,895
Size: 13,200 acres
Percent Contained: 15%

Costs to Date: $770,000 reported, but that number may be off by a factor of ten.

Precautionary Evacuation Advisory for the North and South Coutolenc zones which encompass Coutolenc Rd. from Skyway to Hupp-Coutolenc Rd. and all cross streets still exists. The West Fire has moved south of Bean Soup Bar but is still on the east side of the West Branch of the Feather River drainage and poses a threat to the Coutolenc road area.

There are 31 fires, 16 are known to be active, others have not been accessible to assess. The Little Smokey and the Smokey Fires have combined and are now the Smokey Fire. West, Empire, Sawmill, and Oakway fires have also combined and are now called the West Fire.

The largest fire is 3000 acres and unstaffed, and is expected to increase to 23,000 acres.

Evacuation centers have been established at Neighborhood Church in Chico. Highway 70 remains closed. Butte County EOC and the Paradise EOC are operational and coordinating activities with the incident. The Cub Complex, the Canyon Complex, and the Butte Complex Command Staff are scheduled to met today at the Quincy Airport to discuss Cooperative Strategies.

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Butte Fire map as of 06/29 —- click on map for larger image.

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Situation as of 06/27/08 10:00 AM
Total Personnel: 1,313
Size: 11,500 acres
Percent Contained: 15%

With the lifting of the Inversion Layer on parts of the Complex, fires made Crown Runs, experienced slopovers on parts of the lines.

All fires are prioritized based on threat to Communities. #1 West/Empire, #2 Rim, #3 Breakneck, #4 Smokeys, #5 Frey, #6 Hwy 70 Fires.

Multiple fires located on Highway 70 in Feather River Canyon remain un-staffed. Plans are being developed to construct indirect line which will result in combining the fires to a 23,000 acre burn area.

Because of safety reasons all resources will now be put on a normal work rest cycle. The arrival of important structure protection engines and some hand crews have slightly improved overall staffing. A lack of critical overhead positions is stretching the span of control and our safety margin.

A Precautionary Evacuation Advisory for the North and South Coutolenc zones which encompass Coutolenc Rd. from Skyway to Hupp-Coutolenc Rd. and all cross streets still exists.

The West Fire has moved south of Bean Soup Bar but is still on the east side of the West Branch of the Feather River drainage and poses a threat to the Coutolenc road area. If the fire crosses the drainage, the Precautionary Evacuation Advisory may be upgraded to an Immediate Threat Evacuation Advisory. The primary evacuation route is south on Coutolenc Road to the Skyway.

The IMET is predicting a break down of the inversion tomorrow and a Thunder Storm Warning that could bring dry lightning to the Complex Area.

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Situation as of 06/26/08 7:00 AM
Total Personnel: 1,313
Size: 10,660 acres
Percent Contained: 15%

Costs to date: $4.6 million

Predicted Weather Event May Cause Increased Fire Activity

The National Weather Service is predicting significant winds in the Jarbo Gap area of Butte County throughout the night. The strongest winds are predicted from 11:00 p.m. (Thursday, June 26) through – 4:00 a.m. (Friday, June 27th).

The change in weather may cause a significant increase in fire activity. Residents in the communities of Concow and Big Bend should be especially vigilant and monitor local media outlets for updates and advisories.

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CONCOW EVACUATED 06/25/08

From Wildfire Today [here]. Most of the community of Concow, east of Chico, is evacuated due to the Empire and Rim fires, part of the BTU Lightning complex which closed Hwy 70. The Empire and Rim fires will most likely burn together.

From CalFire 8:00 AM 06/25/08 — Immediate Threat Evacuation Advisories:

Concow Road at Hoffman and all tributaries north and west of Concow Road

Concow Road at Jeffery Pine Lane and all tributaries north and east of Concow Road

Andy Mt. Road/Rim Road

Crain Ridge/Ponderosa Way

Hwy 70 to CAL FIRE Station 36 to Pulga Road

Pulga Road and Jarbo Gap Area.

Precautionary Evacuation Advisories:

Jonesville
Butte Meadows
Big Bend Road and tributaries
Dark Canyon Road

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Situation as of 06/25/08 7:00 PM
Total Personnel: 1,260
Size: 7,000 acres
Percent Contained: 5%

Costs to Date: $3,000,000

Structures Threatened: 1,200 OUTB , 1,200 PRIM Structures Destroyed: NONE

There are 31 fires burning in Butte County under the Butte Lightning Complex Command. The fires have been organized into four Branches. The inversion layer limits the use of Aircraft and makes reconnaissance of fires difficult. The incident is using infrared flights to determine location and spread of fires. Resource and Overhead Levels are critically short forcing the use of defensive tactics. Evacuation centers have been established at Neighborhood Church in Chico. Highway 70 remains closed. Butte County EOC and the Paradise EOC are operational and coordinating activities with the incident.

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Situation as of 06/24/08 10:00 PM
Total Personnel: 432
Size: 5,000 acres
Percent Contained: 5%

Fires are immediately threatening communities. If the inversion layer lifts, fire intensity will greatly increase, causing additional evacuations and significant fire spread. Some of the fires are in remote areas making containment difficult and will require large numbers of hand crews.

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Situation as of 06/23/08 6:00 PM
Total Personnel: 225
Size: 3,716 acres
Percent Contained: 5%

Structures Threatened: 413 PRIM Structures Destroyed: NONE

Significant Events: Fire spotted across the dozer line off of Rim Road and across Hwy 70 on the Rim Fire in Branch I.

BRANCH I (Battalions 1 Paradise Ridge & 3 Jarbo Gap) Summary 16 fires, 4 contained for 898 acres, Rim Fire and West Branch? Fire pose immediate threats to Concow and Magalia respectively.

BRANCH II (Battalion 2 – Cohasset/Forest Ranch/Butte Meadows & Butte Creek) Summary 5 fires, 2 contained for 139 acres, threats to Butte Meadows/Jonesville.

BRANCH 4 – Centerville/Butte Creek fires. Both contained 06/23/08 p.m.

BRANCH V (Battalion 5 – Berry Creek/Feather Falls/Robinson Mill) Summary 2 fires,threats to South Feather Water & Power Transmission Lines near Field, 10 acres, possible containment 06/24/08 17:00. Frey Fire - 1000 acres potential 10,000 acres, unknown containment time, no structure threat.

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Situation as of 06/22/08 5:00 PM
Total Personnel: 168
Size: 1,200 acres
Percent Contained: 5%

~200 residences threatened in the community of Magaila. Critical needs crews, aircraft, dozers, engines.

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