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American Fire Continues to Grow, Smoky Conditions Persist

Photo by Pavlica/US Forest Service

Photo by Pavlica/US Forest Service

Photo by Pavlica/US Forest Service


Updated: 11 p.m. - Firefighters protecting historic mining structures, as hot, dry conditions persist

The American Fire burning in the Deadwood Ridge area in the Tahoe National Forest was active on both the north and south ends Wednesday, burning south to the Grouse Creek Trail and north up the drainage. The hotter and drier weather contributed to increased fire activity. It is 10 percent contained.

Wednesday night firefighters will prepare the line for defensive firing operations along the north end of Deadwood Road.

On the southeast side of the fire, firefighters continue to protect historic mining structures.

The fire is approximately 17 miles northeast of Foresthill, and the Foresthill community is not in danger.

Smoke continues to affect air quality in a wide area surrounding the fire area: the I-80 corridor, Lake Tahoe Basin, the Sacramento Valley, and the surrounding foothills. Officials advise people to take appropriate precautions concerning smoke. Several counties have issued air quality advisories.

Those planning to visit area campgrounds and other recreation sites may also experience intermittent heavy smoke, especially in the evening and early morning hours.

The fire is burning in steep terrain in heavy timber in an area that has not burned in several decades, which is contributing to the heavy smoke.

People are being asked to stay out of the fire area for their own safety and the safety of firefighting personnel.

Approximately 550 personnel are assigned to the fire, including 20 hand crews, 11 engines, 11 water tenders, 6 helicopters, 2 dozers, and air tankers as available. Ground resources are staffing the fire at night. Firefighter and public safety are the first priorities.

The Forest, the timber industry, local agencies, and private landowners are collaborating to establish a strategy and tactics to minimize impacts on resources under contract, special uses under permit, and local communities.


Updated: 1:15 p.m. - Fire grows to more than 3,000 acres, 5 percent contained

The 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. Smokey conditions may last for several days.

The fire is located about 17 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 high temperatures, and low humidities.

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

Fire perimeter shown in red:

American Fire Perimeter - Aug 14

Basic Information

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  873
Size  3,950 acres
Percent Contained  10%
Fuels Involved

 Heavy timber

Fire Behavior

 Moderate fire behavior over night was observed. The north end of  the fire was most active.

Significant Events

 Defensive operational firing used along Deadwood Road. Some  spotting.


Terrain Difficulty

 Very steep terrain


 Continue to fight aggressively with direct and indirect lines.

Current Weather

Wind Conditions  3-6 mph SW
Temperature  73 degrees
Humidity  14%

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