A fire that started at the end of Faith Lane off of Highway 49 in Diamond Springs burned between 3 and 4 acres on Thursday afternoon.
The fire, which is currently under investigation, began early afternoon and was mostly contained by 2 p.m.
“The fire began off the end of Faith Lane and moved in a north-northwest direction quickly,” said incident commander Battalion Chief Dave Teter of Cal Fire. “It briefly threatened apartments and houses,” but no evacuations took place, Teter said.
Michele Viramontes, who lives across the street from where the fire took place, said the Diamond Sunrise Senior Apartments had to be evacuated. “These tenants are 80s to 90s with emergency buttons, some ambulatory,” she wrote in an -email to the Mountain Democrat. She said the fire “came up to the back” of the building.
The fire burned between 3 and 4 acres of grassland between Howard Court, Faith Lane and Panther Lane, Teter said.
A fence was damaged, Teter said, and a structure sustained minor damage.
“The ground resources took quick action and made quick progress,” Teter said. They were aided by two air tankers from Cal Fire and a helicopter from the Forest Service.
Tom Bliss, who owns an electronics store near where the fire took place, watched the fire being fought.
“I can’t believe how well they attacked that fire,” Bliss said. “They saw it, and boom, they nailed it.”
Bliss, whose wife Teri works for Cal Fire, described how the helicopter picked up water from a local reservoir and came towards his shop, dumping water on the flames. Meanwhile, the firefighters “were fighting the fire from the west, chasing it.”
He also saw the air tanker skim the tree line as the fire was encroaching on residences behind the Diamond Hotel. “The (tanker) nailed it, like the pilot had practiced a thousand times. Right on the hottest part of the flames. They went from 20 feet hight to a foot high. You could feel the air like it was being sucked out. It was remarkable.”
Responding agencies were Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service, Diamond Springs Fire, Cameron Park Fire, Rescue Fire, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department and El Dorado County Office of Emergency Services.