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American Fire Grows, Along With Containment



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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wednesday coverage: American Fire Continues to Grow, Smoky Conditions Persist

Latest U.S. Forest Service Incident Report

 

Updated: 11:20 p.m. - Forest Service orders closure of lands adjacent to fire

An emergency closure order is in place for portions of National Forest System lands within and adjacent to the American Fire effective Friday. The fire has grown to more than 5,400 acres, and smoke continues to be heavy.
Jane LaBoa, a public information officer with the U.S. Forest Service, said a mining structure in one of the area's historic mining districts has burned, but officials have not disclosed the specific location.
More than 1,200 personnel are working the incident.

0816 American Fire Closure AreaThe American fire is burning in heavy fuels, on very steep slopes. Access to the fire area is limited.

The heavy fuels are creating large amounts of smoke. Smoke is a significant issue for the Sierra Foothills, Tahoe area, and Sacramento Valley. An air quality warning has been issued for Placer county. Those planning to visit area campgrounds and other recreation sites may experience intermittent heavy smoke. Smoky conditions may last for several days.

Fire officials are establishing an incident base known as a spike camp in the Greek Store area off of Mosquito Ridge Road to enable easier access to the southeast end of the fire.

A 10,000 gallon water tank and a 10,000 gallon mobile retardant plant to aid with helicopter suppression operations has been established at the Blue Canyon Airport just south of Interstate 80.

The fire is located about 10 miles northeast of Foresthill in the Tahoe National Forest. The fire has burned across the North Fork Middle Fork American River and is burning both up and down the river drainage. The potential for fire growth is high due to the heavy fuels, steep slopes (up to 150 percent), predicted temperatures, and low humidities. One mining structure was destroyed and there have been two minor injuries todate.

The community of Foresthill is not threatened.

A map and description of the closed area can be obtained at Tahoe National Forest offices as well as online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe

Updated: 2:40 p.m. - Fire 35 percent contained, incident base set-up

The American Fire is 35 percent contained. but has grown to nearly 5,000 acres, as crews are setting back fires to reduce the fuel levels. Almost 900 personnel are assigned to the incident.
The fire has burned through some private and historic mining land. No structures are threatened. 

“What is causing the most problem is that we are generating a lot of smoke," said Jane LaBoa with the Forest Service. "This is a very smoky fire and we are impacting people with breathing problems over a very wide geographic area.”

The heavy fuels are creating large amounts of smoke. Smoke is a significant issue for the Sierra Foothills, Tahoe area, and Sacramento Valley. An air quality warning has been issued for Placer county. Those planning to visit area campgrounds and other recreation sites may experience intermittent heavy smoke. Smoky conditions may last for several days.

Fire officials are establishing an incident base known as a spike camp in the Greek Store area off of Mosquito Ridge Road to enable easier access to the southeast end of the fire.

0815 American Fire Crews rotator

The fire is located about 10 miles northeast of Foresthill in the Tahoe National Forest. The fire has burned across the North Fork Middle Fork American River and is burning both up and down the river drainage. The potential for fire growth is high due to the heavy fuels, steep slopes (up to 150 percent), predicted temperatures, and low humidities.

The community of Foresthill is not being threatened at this time.

Fire Perimeter, Aug. 15

0815 American Fire Perimeter

Basic Information

Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Saturday August 10th, 2013 approx. 04:30 PM
Location Deadwood Ridge, northeast of Foresthill
Incident Commander Dana D'andrea

Current Situation

Total Personnel 1,226
Size 5,420 acres
Percent Contained 35%
Fuels Involved

Heavy timber

Fire Behavior

The fire will continue to grow with the alignment of topography and the predicted weather pattern.

Significant Events

Smoke is anticipated to be a significant issue for the Sierra Foothills.

Outlook

Terrain Difficulty

Very steep terrain

Remarks

Continue to fight aggressively with direct and indirect lines.

Current Weather

Wind Conditions 7-15 mph SW
Temperature 77 degrees
Humidity 12-18%
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