Category Archives: Fire

American Fire Nears 16,000 acres, Believed To Be Human-Caused

State and federal emergency crews continue to battle a growing wildfire emitting heavy smoke in the Tahoe National Forest.

The American fire is burning in a heavily forested area of very steep terrain on Deadwood Ridge, about 10 miles northeast of Foresthill, Calif., roughly a half hour west of Lake Tahoe.

The U.S. Forest Service estimated its size at 15,738 acres as of Wednesday morning, when it was 63 percent contained. Officials estimate it will be 100 percent contained by noon on Sept. 1.

Officials attribute the inferno’s growth to hot and dry weather, allowing the blaze to spread along the Deadwood Ridge on the north and south ends.

Roughly 1,813 personnel from Calfire and USFS and other agencies are fighting the fire, the start of which is under investigation.

On Tuesday, the fire’s information officer, Mike Johnson, said the blaze is believed to be human-caused, according to media reports, although he does not think it’s arson.

The fire ignited at about 4:30 p.m. Aug. 10 and has destroyed four structures as of Wednesday morning, according to USFS.

“While the fire is predominantly burning within the North Fork of the Middle Fork American River drainage, there is a potential, given changes in weather or fire behavior, for the fire to threaten areas near Foresthill,” according to a USFS statement.

Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn has signed an emergency closure order for portions of National Forest System lands within and adjacent to the fire, including access roads and trails surrounding it.

Individuals with questions may contact the American River District ranger at 530-367-2224.

Thunderstorms predicted this week may bring additional complexity and increase the potential for new starts, according to the forest service.

Further, the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning through 11 p.m. Wednesday; changing weather patterns are likely to affect fire behavior and smoke patterns.

At Tahoe/Truckee, smoke is expected to be thicker in the evenings, and should linger in the region until the fire is extinguished.

Residents along Donner Lake in Truckee have reported thick smoke in the evenings the past several days. Heavy haze also started filtering into the Lake Tahoe Basin this past weekend.

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American Fire Burning 13,730 Acres

Located in Tahoe National Forest outside of Foresthill, the Americna Fire continues to burn in steep and hazardous terrain as well as timber fuels that have not burned in several decades. Consumption of heavy fuels continues to contribute to the heavy smoke in the surrrounding areas.

An emergency closure order is in place for portions of National Forest System lands within and adjacent to the American Fire.

A map and description of the closed area can be obtained at Tahoe National Forest offices as well as online at

American Fire: 13,730 acres burning / 49% containment.
1,851 Firefighting Personnel
10,000 Acres ~ 15 Square Miles

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7 Acres Burn On Parkway Near Site Of Earlier Fires

A fast-moving grass fire on the American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova has been contained after burning about 7 acres.

Capt. Christopher Quinn of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said the fire was reported about 3 p.m. near Friday the El Manto access off Ambassador Drive. No homes were threatened.

He said the fire was in the same general area as three other grass fires believed to have been deliberately set along the parkway in recent weeks.

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Sierra Foothills Wildfire Leads To Forest Closure

The U.S. Forest Service has ordered an emergency closure for portions of the Tahoe National Forest near a remote Northern California wildfire that has burned more than 11 square miles of steep, wooded terrain.

Heavy smoke from the fire 10 miles northeast of Foresthill at times has blanketed portions of the Sierra Nevada foothills, the Sacramento Valley and stretched to Lake Tahoe.

An air quality warning has been issued for Placer County, northeast of Sacramento. The Forest Service says smoky conditions might last through the weekend.

The fire is burning along a tributary of the Middle Fork of the American River and is not threatening homes.

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$30K Raised For American River Parkway Rebuild After Fires

Efforts to repair burned out parts of the American River Parkway made a splash Saturday.

The American River Parkway Foundation’s Down River Day raised about $30,000. Sponsored rafts cruised down the river to raise the cash.

“The funds from this event this year are going to be earmarked for restoration and reforestation of the areas that have burned over the last few weeks. There have been over 160 acres that have burned over the last few weeks,” said Christina Neifer, American River Parkway Foundation.

Four fires over a five day period have left parts of the parkway scorched.

Police arrested a woman for arson Thursday, accused of starting a 100-acre fire along the river near Highway 160.

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Investigators Say Woman May Be Linked To Other American River Parkway Fires

nvestigators say a woman arrested after a Thursday fire on the American River Parkway may be linked to three other arson cases from last week.

Today’s fire broke out along North 16th Street in Sacramento. The trio of fire last week were intentionally set along the American River Parkway.

People living along the American River Parkway are relieved an accused arsonist is behind bars.

“Well, I thought of all the embers coming over—you know, the flaming pieces of wood—and I thought, oh my god, if it hits my porch, my porch is going to go up.”

Thick smoke from last week’s blaze near Highway 150 filled Cindi Beard’s mobile home park. That blaze burned 100 acres before being brought under control.

And on Thursday, another suspicious fire was set nearby. This time, a witness waved down police, saying he saw the suspect standing over the flames just after it started.

Sacramento Police arrested 42-year-old Evangeline Deutsch for arson. Investigators say she could be a suspect in other parkway fires this summer, including several in Rancho Cordova.

“The person says she was possibly bragging about previous fires,” said Scott Williams with Sacramento Fire.

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Woman arrested in fire along American River Parkway

A 42-year-old woman was arrested this afternoon on suspicion of arson in connection with a brush fire in the 500 block of North 16th Street.

Police said the woman, identified as Evangeline Deutsch (pictured), is homeless and was known to officers. She was booked into Sacramento County Jail.


Although today’s fire, which began about 2:30 p.m., burned approximately an acre, a second alarm was issued because it was near businesses and an area of the American River Parkway where a fire last week burned 100 acres, fire officials said.

Assistant Chief Niko King of the Sacramento Fire Department said investigators have questioned Deutsch and are trying to determine whether she is linked to last week’s fire. Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District officials also have been notified of the arrest, he said, in light of a string of grass fires that burned a total of 46 acres along the American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova last week.

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Fires Along American River Parkway Raise Local Concern

For the third time in as many days, a grass fire has ripped through the El Manto access to the American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova.

Police believe these fires are the result of arson.

“There may be someone in the bushes watching us right now. It puts my men at risk when I have to send them into a field with a heavy fuel load,” said Sacramento Metro Fire Battalion Chief Charles Jenkins.

Police detained one man who matched witness descriptions of a suspect seen leaving the blaze Saturday. But when they were shown the man who was detained, those witnesses told police he wasn’t the same person, so he was released.

The largest of the three fires came Friday, when about 40 acres were scorched.

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Crews contain Foresthill Bridge fire that threatened homes

Fire crews from multiple agencies fully contained the four-acre fire that threatened structures on the Auburn side of the Foresthill Bridge at 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, said Daniel Berlant, Cal Fire public information officer.

“This whole canyon, once it gets racing in a canyon like this, it could take several days to stop it,” Berlant said. “Fortunately where we stopped it was right below these homes. It was a real good save.”

The fire that started just before 2 p.m. originated at the bottom of the American River Canyon and crawled up the hillside toward Auburn, headed for a neighborhood with dozens of homes, but crews were able to halt its progress and no evacuations had been ordered, Berlant said.

Of those in the neighborhood, only two buildings were immediately threatened by the fire, he said.

One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion, Berlant said.

More than a dozen fire engines, a couple water tenders, three hand crews, two air tankers, a helicopter and a bulldozer had been dispatched to battle the blaze, Berlant said. Cal Fire, Placer County Fire, Auburn City Fire, Newcastle Fire, Placer Hills Fire and the U.S. Forest Service all responded to the scene.

“This is an incredibly steep hillside, so trying to get our firefighters down there to actually … build a containment line is very difficult,” he said. “That’s why we do so much work in here to actually clear it up.”

The blaze spread under the bridge, burning either side of the Auburn slope. The cause of the vegetation fire is under investigation.

“If we hadn’t been able to jump on it quickly this fire had a lot of potential to make its way all the way up the hillside to Auburn,” Berlant said. “Fortunately our station is less than a mile away, Auburn City Fire is less than a mile away, and we were able to bring engines out of Foresthill, so a lot of different agencies were able to get there quickly and that helped us, obviously.”

A spot fire broke out away from the main area of the blaze, but a U.S. Forest Service helicopter quickly attacked it and stopped it from spreading, Berlant said.

Work to reduce fuels on either side of the canyon had been performed recently, and this fire emphasizes to homeowners there how important it is to create defensible space, because a blaze naturally is going to spread up the hillside, he said.

“It’s a beautiful view, right? But they’ve got to make sure they’ve got the clearance, because the fire is going to race right up,” Berlant said. “And if you’ve got good clearance around it, it helps us stop the fire.”

The area near the bridge is a “hot spot” for fires, and a blaze two or three years ago burned 30 acres on the Foresthill side, Berlant said.

Foresthill Road traffic was stopped on either side of the bridge, and was expected to resume around 5:30 p.m. Traffic was also significantly backed up on Highway 49 near the confluence, Berlant said.

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