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Crews Continue to Battle Robbers Fire



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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friday coverage of Robbers Fire

Updated at 10:30 p.m.

The fire has grown to 800 acres, with 10 percent containment. Cal Fire is reporting that 150 residences are being threatened, with evacuations in effect for homes off Yankee Jims Canyon and Shirttail Canyon, as well as parts of Iowa Hill. More than 1,800 personnel are working the blaze.

Streets evacuated: Just Rd., Big Dipper Rd., Glory Mound Rd., Kings Hill Rd., Brushy Bear Rd., Brushy Creek Ln., Macy Creek, Adelin, Blind Doe, Mountain Lion, Spring Garden Rd, Log Cabin Ln, Pine Mountain Rd, Small Hope Mine Ln, Owl Creek Rd and parts of Shirttail Canyon  

Cooperating agencies: Cal Fire, local numerous fire agencies, Placer County Sheriff, CHP, CalEMA, Placer Countey OES, BLM, CDCR.

Total personnel: 1,821

Resources on scene: 192 engines, 80 crews, nine air tankers, nine helicopters, 35 bulldozers and 24 water tenders.

Road closures: Just Rd. Big Dipper Rd, Glory Mound Rd., Kings Hill Rd., Brushy Bear Rd., Brushy Creek Rd. and Shirt Tail Canyon Rd.

The American Red Cross has established an evacuation shelter at the Foresthill Veterans Hall.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Follow Cal Fire on Twitter

Cal Fire Incident Update site

KCRA Robbers Fire photo gallery

Auburn Journal Robbers Fire coverage

YubaNet Robbers Fire coverage

Robbers Fire coverage on Insight

 

Updated at 5:52 p.m.

Cal Fire is ordering new evacuations as near the Placer County community of Foresthill as the Robbers Fire grows larger and threatens additional homes.

"It's outside Foresthill in the Yankee Jims Canyon area. Part of that area had already been evacuated. Now, we're evacuating additional pieces," said Daniel Berlant, Cal Fire spokesman.

Berlant says as expected,  today's hot weather and low humidity have made the fire more active. There are now around 1,000 firefighters battling the blaze.  Berlant says the extra personnel are now directly on the front lines in areas where the fire has flared up.

The Robbers Fire is now burning 700 acres and just 10 percent contained.


Updated at 5:22 p.m.

Here are the new mandatory evacuations announced by the Sheriff's Office as of 4 p.m.: LOG CABIN LANE, YANKEE JIMS RD TO THE EAST OF LOG CABIN LANE INCLUDING HERITAGE OAK LANE AND SPRING GARDEN ROAD TO THE SOUTH OF PINE MOUNTAIN ROAD.

Updated at 4:42 p.m.

The fire is now burning 700 acres - up from the previous estimate of 300 acres.  And it's now just 10 percent contained - down from 20 percent at last check.

Cal Fire says the second straight day of triple-digit temperatures have led to an increase in fire activity.

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Today is the second straight spare the air day in the Sacramento region.  And in Placer County, officials are warning its residents to beware of smoky conditions from the Robbers fire.

You can expect smoke in the valley up to Lake Tahoe today, and in some areas conditions are hazardous. 

If you can see or smell smoke, officials say, you should avoid outdoor activities.

Wildfire smoke contains toxic gases, and fine particles that are associated with various health problems.

Wearing bandanas or paper masks do not protect you from the air particles, and can even impede breathing.

Smoke is more concentrated in the foothill regions during cooler, mornings. In the afternoon and evening, smoke rises and may affect the Lake Tahoe region.

Wind directions are expected to change this weekend. That could improve smoke conditions in some areas.
 
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Cal Fire officials remain concerned that the fire could move into the steep American River Canyon and jump the river, which would put Colfax and nearby communities at risk. 

 

But right now the wildfire is moving northeast, away from the canyon, and toward the small foothill community of Iowa Hill.      

 

Cal Fire has deployed more than a thousand firefighters, and they're working to contain the fire on all sides.

 

Placer County officials are setting up an information center at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Colfax where people can get up-to-date information.   

So far there have been no additional mandatory evacuations. 

 

- The Forest Hill shelter remains open, but officials haven't seen a need to open any additional shelters.

 

- The county has also set up an animal shelter at Gold County fairgrounds in Auburn. They're accepting horses, small livestock and dogs and cats. Officials are asking people please use the Pleasant Street entrance. 


 

Updated at 12:45 p.m.

From the Cal Fire Incident Update:

Fire remains at 317 acres with 20 percent containment. There are now 1,000 firefighters working the blaze, including 37 fire crews using 52 engines, five helicopters, six air tankers, four bulldozers and six water tenders.

Location: Off Shirt Tail Canyon Road and Yankee Jims Road, northwest of Foresthill- the fire is moving towards Iowa Hill

Road closures: Just Road, Big Dipper Road, Glory Mound Rd, Kings Hill Rd, Brushy Bear Rd, Brushy Creek Rd, Shirttail Canyon Rd.

Evacuations: Evacuations remain in effect for homes off Yankee Jims Canyon & Shirttail Canyon area, as well as parts of Iowa Hill. The following streets are evacuated: Just Rd., Big Dipper Rd., Glory Mound Rd., Kings Hill Rd., Brushy Bear Rd., Brushy Creek Ln., Macy Creek, Adelin, Blind Doe, Mountain Lion and parts of Shirttail Canyon Rd.

Conditions: Yesterday, the fire burned actively due to the dry conditions. Over night the fire continued to burn, but firefighters made good progress. Today, weather conditions are expected to again be in the triple digits with low humidity, which will allow this fire to continue to burn.
 
The American Red Cross has established an evacuation shelter at the Foresthill Veterans Hall.
 

 

Updated at 10:42 a.m.

The forest fire in Placer county has spread and is now burning more than 300 acres this morning.  On Insight, Cal Fire's Daniel Berlant says firefighters have the fire 20 percent contained, but it's still a "dynamic situation" they're continuing to combat. 

 

Weather today is expected to hit triple digits, and light wind could also exacerbate flames.  Berlant says this year has had some of the driest months on record in many areas in Northern California and resulted in extremely dry brush and timber.

 

"Already this year Cal Fire has responded to twice as many fires as last year. And if that's any sign of what is to come, this could be busy fire season for us."

 

Berlant says if the fire gets into the American River canyon it could jump the river to Colfax and communities on that side. 

 

Some Placer County areas have mandatory evacuations, and so far a handful are checked into the Forest Hill shelter, which is providing housing and meals and updated fire information. 

 

David Kennedy, a Red Cross volunteer at the Forest Hill shelter, says about 30 others are staying nearby the shelter in their vehicles. 

 

"At this time, our clients and citizens aren't allowed to go back to their homes, so it's good that they're getting info on what's happening, as they're anxious here and just wondering about their houses," says Kennedy.

 

The shelter will stay open as long as it's needed, and plans are being made to open a shelter near Colfax, should it come to that.

 

With this dry, hot weather, California has also had several fires including the now-contained Panorama fired in the southern half of the state and several other fires in Colusa County. 


 

Updated at 8:42 a.m.

Firefighters battling the 200-plus acre Robbers Fire in Placer county have doubled their efforts within the last hour.  There are now more than 500 firefighters working to build containment lines and put out hotspots.

Daniel Berlant with Cal Fire says there's definitely concern about the fire spreading as temperatures rise today:

"If the wind picks up that this fire could continue to burn. It was able to burn into the North fork of the  American River canyon area ---our concern is that if the fire pushes its way up into that canyon, there's a lot of area for it to burn. And it even has the potential of jumping the river--and if it jumps the river, the community of Colfax is on the other side," Berlant said.

He added that no one has been injured, but several dozen homes are threatened.

  

Updated at 6:50 a.m.

Cal Fire reports this morning the fire has grown to 220 acres.

 

Posted at 5:56 a.m.

Daniel Berlant with Cal Fire says one major challenge is the terrain.

"The fire's in a very remote area. There's not a lot of easy access. And that's made our job a lot harder. As we've tried to get our crews in, we really had to rely yesterday on our aircraft. The helicopters and the air tankers making water drops and retardant drops, slowing down this fire as our ground resources were able to gain access."

More than 250 firefighters worked overnight to build containment lines. No injuries have been reported.

The fire is now 20% contained. But Berlant says with another day of triple-digit temperatures on tap for the region…it could be a busy day.

At least two-dozen residents spent the night at an evacuation center set up at the Foresthill Veterans Memorial Hall.

No homes have been damaged but Berlant says officials called for the evacuations because the fire, fueld by dry brush, grew so quickly.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

See Wednesday's coverage of the Robbers Fire

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