Oak Fire damages home, displaces family

By From page A7 | July 17, 2013

A fire in the early afternoon of July 13 damaged a home and the surrounding area on Oak Hill Road in Placerville.

A report at 12:40 p.m. from 6351 Oak Hill Road alerted local fire departments that the residence next door was on fire, Cal Fire’s Teri Mizuhara said. Someone had been mowing “person-tall weeds,” using a gas lawn mower. It’s not known whether a spark from the mower or the weeds getting tangled inside started the fire, but “it took very little to move up to the building,” Mizuhara said.

El Dorado County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Pott noted there was little-to-no defensible space for the residence.

“We recommend doing mowing and Weed Eating before 10 a.m.,” Pott said, “or even 9 a.m.” due to humidity. He also recommended using a weed trimmer rather than a lawn mower for large weeds. He said an outbuilding, a barn, was also damaged. Vehicles and associated items with the residence and barn were damaged. About 5 acres of vegetation was burned.

Despite water tenders and air drops, the residence was damaged to the point where the family was displaced, Mizuhara said. “The house was pretty much uninhabitable.” Red Cross was working with the family to find it a place to stay.

A small nearby vineyard also suffered collateral damage from the air drop, Mizuhara said, and the owner spent hours washing the flame retardant off.

The fire was contained at 1:54 p.m. El Dorado County Fire, Cal Fire, El Dorado Hills Fire, Garden Valley Fire, Diamond Springs Fire, the U.S. Forest Service, the Red Cross and El Dorado County Animal Services all responded to the fire.


Cole Mayer

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