Lake Oroville Community Update- July 5, 2024


Image of Thompson Fire in Butte County

Image of Thompson Fire in Butte County.

Thompson Fire Update 

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has resumed normal operations at Oroville Field Division (OFD) while continuing to monitor the Thompson Fire in Oroville. Evacuation orders by the Butte County Sheriff have been lifted for State Water Project facilities including the Hyatt Powerplant, OFD’s main office on Glen Drive, the Lake Oroville Visitor Center in Kelly Ridge, and Oroville Dam Crest Road to the main spillway overlook area. 


DWR resumed Hyatt Powerplant and Oroville-Thermalito Complex operations around 2 p.m. on July 3 following localized power outages. Oroville Dam’s main spillway remains closed with water being released through the Hyatt Powerplant for power generation, water deliveries, and environmental requirements. 


DWR staff have performed initial assessments of State Water Project facilities and found minor damage to nonessential infrastructure such as fencing or equipment. While the Thompson Fire burnt grasses along the face of Oroville Dam and near the main spillway, there was no damage to the dam or spillway structure and Oroville Dam remains safe. 


The California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) has reopened the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area for public use, although restrictions remain in some areas. All campgrounds have reopened along with most day use areas and the North Thermalito Forebay. Closures remain in effect at the following locations for damage assessment and repairs: Spillway boat ramp and day use area, all trails and access points around the Diversion Pool (Dan Beebe and Brad Freeman Trails), and the Potter’s Ravine and North Fork Trails. DWR has also reopened the Lake Oroville Visitor Center to the public. 


The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has closed the Hatchery to the public until further notice. The facility closure also includes the lower parking lot and fish ladder viewing window. 


DWR is assessing impacts to State Water Project facilities on an ongoing basis. DWR would like to recognize our partners at CAL FIRE, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), State Parks, Butte County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, CDFW, City of Oroville, and local law enforcement partners in fire response and community safety efforts. 


Our sympathies are with those impacted by the Thompson Fire, particularly those who have lost their homes or businesses. DWR values the strength and compassion of Butte County communities and salutes the heroic efforts of state and local first responders.


Lake Oroville is at 885 feet elevation and storage is approximately 3.2 million acre-feet (MAF), which is 93 percent of its total capacity and 121 percent of the historical average. Updates to Lake Oroville’s storage capacity went into effect on July 1.


Feather River flows are at 1,500 cfs through the City of Oroville with 6,500 cfs being released from the Thermalito Afterbay River Outlet (Outlet) for a total Feather River release of 8,000 cfs downstream.  DWR continues to assess Feather River releases daily. 



All data as of midnight 7/4/2024.