Four buildings have been destroyed by the American Fire near Foresthill in Placer County, which has grown to nearly 17,000 acres.
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According to an update to InciWeb, maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, as of Thursday morning, the American Fire is 16,812 acres with 60 percent containment.
“Crews continue to mop up on the west and north sides of the fire to prevent any fire from potential hotspots from crossing established containment lines,” the update read. “On the northeast and east edge, fire crews continue to hold and improve containment lines.”
Wednesday night, a backfiring operation with a low intensity burn helped strengthen the containment line.
“Aggressive fire suppression efforts have limited fire movement south to southwest along the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River. Efforts to contain the fire along the more difficult steep and hazardous terrain on the south and southeast perimeters continues with crews attacking the fires edge where possible.”
The fire is in the Antoine, Manilla and Scewrauger canyons and below the Barny Cavanah Ridge. Heavy smoke is still affecting the surrounding areas.
The fire, fueled by timber and the understory of trees, began Aug. 10 around 4:30 p.m. The growth potential is still listed as “high” and the terrain is “extreme.” InciWeb notes that the fire “is in an old growth timber stand with no recorded fire history, in steep, hazardous terrain with dry, heavy fuels.”
The cause is still under investigation. The expected containment date is Sept. 1.
In Tuolumne County, the Rim Fire is burning 53,866 acres at 2 percent containment northeast of Groveland. El Dorado County Fire Division Chief Mike Pott noted that county resources are assisting in the fire. Originally, a five-engine strike team made up of County Fire, El Dorado Hills Fire, Garden Valley Fire, Pioneer Fire and Rescue Fire personnel was sent to help with structure defense and core lines.
A second team was sent Wednesday night made up of Office of Emergency Service vehicles — on loan to the county from state resources — with County Fire and Georgetown Fire personnel. Evacuations are in effect for the fire, which is threatening about 2,500 homes, a Thursday update from Cal Fire’s Daniel Berlant read. “Yesterday the Rim Fire grew at an explosive rate and required additional evacuations,” he added.
Berlant noted that more than “8,000 firefighters are currently battling a dozen major wildfires across California. The threat of lightning-sparked fires has decreased, as many areas along the Northern Sierra saw rainfall with the thunderstorms. However, erratic and gusty winds have continued to pose a major challenge for firefighters on many of the fires. A majority of the fires are burning on national forest land. The Rim Fire has continued to burn extremely active over the past 24 hours and has spread into state responsibly area, so Cal Fire has entered into unified command with the Forest Service.”
Most of the Red Flag warnings have been lifted, with only a couple north of the Oregon border remaining.
The statewide fires are as follows:
Swedes Fire, Butte County
Southeast of Oroville
2,462 acres — 95 percent contained
Full containment expected Thursday
Burney Lightning Series, Shasta County
Near Fall River Mills and McArthur
7 fires for 190 acres — 95 percent contained
Full containment expected Thursday
Rim Fire Tuolumne County
Stanislaus National Forest/Cal Fire northeast of Groveland
53,866 acres — 2 percent contained
Evacuations in effect
2,500 residences threatened
Shirley Complex, Kern County
U.S. Forest Service — Sequoia National Forest near the communities of Democrat and Alta Sierra
895 acres — 78 percent contained
Cal Fire is assisting
Hough Complex, Plumas County
U.S. Forest Service — Plumas National Forest near Taylorsville
545 acres — 40 percent contained
Cal Fire is assisting
Gobblers Fire, San Bernardino County
U.S. Forest Service — San Bernardino National Forest northwest of Rancho Cucamonga
192 acres — 45 percent contained
Spring Peak Fire, Mono County
U.S. Forest Service — Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest 15 miles northeast of Mono Lake
14,230 acres — 68 percent contained
The fire is primarily in Nevada but did burn into California near Bodie State Park
Orleans Complex, Siskiyou County
U.S. Forest Service – Six Rivers National Forest 6 miles southeast of Somes Bar
19,538 acres — 35 percent contained
Salmon River Complex, Siskiyou County
U.S. Forest Service — Klamath National Forest 1 mile west of Sawyers Bar
14,325 acres — 95 percent contained
Corral Complex, Humboldt County
U.S. Forest Service — Six Rivers National Forest east of the Hoopa Indian Reservation
8,780 acres — 0 percent contained
Aspen Fire, Fresno County
U.S. Forest Service – Sierra National Forest near Huntington Lake
22,791 acres — 95 percent contained.