Category Archives: Fire

Man Accused of Setting American River Canyon Brush Fire

Placer County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man Wednesday after he allegedly started a brush fire near the American River canyon.

A woman reported seeing the fire shortly after 11 a.m., and also saw a man jumping fences.

A Sheriff’s lieutenant who responded yelled at the man to stop, but he kept going.

A crew from the Sheriff’s Office was training with a helicopter nearby. One sergeant from the group confronted the man and got into a fight with him.

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Weed-control work forces closure of recreation area for two days

A popular recreation area along the south fork of the American River in El Dorado County will be closed for two days this week for weed-control work.

The Bureau of Land Management announced that it will close the Cronan Ranch and Greenwood Creek parcels to public access Tuesday and Wednesday, when herbicides will be applied to control invasive weeds.

A notice of intent to apply herbicides will be posted on signs at the trailhead at least 24 hours before the application, and closure signs will be posted during the herbicide application, according to a news release from the BLM’s Mother Lode Field Office.

Broadcast and spot herbicide applications are planned along approximately 14 miles of trail edges to reduce weeds and make trails more accessible for recreational use.

“We are taking an integrated weed management approach to control invasive weeds throughout the Cronan Ranch and Greenwood Creek areas,” Jeff Horn, outdoor recreation planner with the Mother Lode Field Office, said in a written statement.

The weed treatments are needed to reduce invasive plants, predominantly yellow star thistle and medusahead, he said.

Land use practices, Horn said, have created extensive infestations of these invasive weeds throughout the Cronan Ranch and Greenwood Creek areas.

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Surprise $54M won’t impact Auburn recreation areas

Auburn and Folsom state recreation areas won’t benefit from $54 million recently found stashed in California State Parks’ budget.

Local recreation officials said the 25-year partnership between the two recreation areas and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that was signed last January prevents any of the newly found money from potentially being allocated to Auburn or Folsom Lake by the governor.

“No, that money will go to the governor to be appropriated, but it should have no impact on Auburn Recreation Area or any of the units associated with the agreement,” said Matt Green, superintendent of the Gold Fields District of State Parks.

That means the recreation areas will continue to be, in Green’s words, “self-sustaining” through revenue it generates partially through fees and supplemental funding it gets from the Bureau of Reclamation. On July 1, new fees were added to parking areas in the Auburn and Folsom Lake state recreation areas or existing fees were increased.

For example, parking along the road in the Auburn State Recreation Area was free before, but on July 1 a $10-per-day fee was imposed in the confluence area and in the Lake Clementine area boat launching fees were also increased to $10.

California State Parks recently found $54 million of unspent money in its budget due to underreporting of funds to the state Department of Finance for the last 12 years, according to a press release by the state Natural Resources Agency.

Roughly $20.3 million of recreation funds and more than $33.4 million off-highway vehicle funds were unused by State Parks, the release stated.

Katy Veling, of Auburn, was enjoying the confluence area near Auburn on Wednesday and said she wishes the $54 million could be used to either lessen or do away with the fees. She even said the new parking fee has kept her away from her favorite swimming spot on the American River.

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Progress in fighting Robbers fire

Firefighters will spend the day trying to fully contain a sprawling Placer County wildfire that has displaced almost 300 people since Wednesday.

About 1,400 firefighters are battling the Robbers Fire, which began at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in Shirttail Canyon between Colfax and Foresthill, about 40 miles northeast of Auburn. The fire has burned 1,157 acres and is 10 percent contained.

Firefighters scored a win late Thursday when they stopped the blaze from moving into a steep canyon that would have funneled the flames north toward the small community of Colfax, said Cal Fire spokesman Brice Bennett. Firefighters will spend Friday shoring up their defenses at the canyon’s mouth, he said.

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Fire near Foresthill spurs evacuation order

Residents of homes scattered throughout a rugged area of Placer County northwest of Foresthill were evacuated Wednesday afternoon as a fire that started near the north fork of the American River burned up the side of the canyon.

The fire was reported to be 20 percent contained – at 200 acres – shortly before 10 p.m.

The fire, which began about 3:20 p.m., was on the east, or Foresthill side, of the river. As of early evening, it was moving toward Iowa Hill.

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Evacuations Ordered in Foresthill Area

Several agencies are fighting the Robbers Fire in Placer County near Foresthill. The fire is burning in dense forest near homes, and evacuations have been ordered. The 200-acre blaze is 20 percent contained as of late Wednesday.


The evacuation center at the Foresthill Veterans Memorial Hall at 24601 Harrison Road in Foresthill has been designated an overnight shelter for residents displaced by the Robbers Fire.

At 7:45 p.m., about 25 people were staying at the Foresthill shelter. It is being operated by the American Red Cross with support from the Placer County Health and Human Services Department.

A decision was made to close the evacuation center at the Colfax Veterans Memorial Hall in Colfax because no one was staying there Wednesday evening.

The fire is burning in rugged terrain east of the north fork of the American River. The fire is on the Foresthill side of the river and moving toward Iowa Hill.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order for residents in the Kings Hill Road and Bushy Bear Ridge areas that remained in effect at 9 p.m. Wednesday. The Sheriff’s Office also made an emergency broadcast notice for residents within a one-mile radius of Iowa Hill to be ready to evacuate Wednesday evening.

At 9:45 p.m., Cal FIRE reported the fire had burned about 200 acres, but was 20 percent contained. It is burning near Yankee Jim’s and Shirttail Canyon roads.

Prescribed burn smoke will be visible throughout Placer, Yuba, Nevada

Placer, Yuba and Nevada county residents should not worry if they see raging orange flames and plumes of smoke today as a prescribed burn that started at 10 a.m. continues through the evening.

The burn is occurring underneath the Middle Fork American River Canyon bridge, about a mile northeast of Auburn. The Lake Clementine Trail is also closed as part of the burn.

Smoke will be visible from Interstate 80, Highway 49, Auburn, Foresthill and the surrounding areas, according to Cal Fire.

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Cal Fire plans 55-acre burn under the Foresthill Bridge Thursday

If you see smoke billowing up by the Foresthill Bridge Thursday, don’t be alarmed, it’s a prescribed burn.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, California State Parks, Placer County, and the Cal Fire Vegetation Management Program, will conduct a 55-acre prescribed burn under the Foresthill Bridge.

Operations will start at 10a.m. and continue into the evening hours. It will consist of two burn units, one on the east side of the river and one on the west side. Smoke will be visible from Interstate 80, Highway 49, Auburn, Foresthill and the surrounding communities.

The prescribed burn will occur directly under the bridge in the middle fork of the American River canyon, approximately one mile northeast of Auburn.
Lake Clementine Trail will be closed to the public on Thursday and Friday (June 28-29) as part of the prescribed burn operation.

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