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Sand Fire Now 75 Percent Contained, Some Evacuation Orders Lifted

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The perimeter of the Sand Fire, which is holding at 3,800 acres.

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Latest Sand Fire Incident Information


7:20 P.M. Cal Fire reports the Sand Fire is 75 percent contained.


5  P.M. Cal Fire reports the Sand Fire is 65 percent contained and has burned 3,800 acres. At this point 13 residences and 38 outbuildings have been distroyed by the fire.

The evacuation orders for Sand Ridge Road and all roads connecting to Sand Ridge Road were reduced to an evacuation warning with the exception of Freshwater Road, south of Vintage Trail. This portion of Freshwater Road will remain under an Evacuation Order.

Traffic Control Points remain at the following locations:

  • Freshwater Road at Vintage Trail
  • Sand Ridge Road at Deerhaven
  • E16 at Lone Barn
  • E16 at Brinkwood
  • Flat Creek at Bertone
The following areas remain under an Evacuation Order:
  • Flat Creek Road
  • Brinkwood Road
  • Painted Pony Road
  • Higgins Road
  • Twin Rivers Road. and all connecting roads


12 P.M. Cal Fire authorities announced changes to evacuation orders for residents affected by the Sand Fire.

Cal Fire says some orders have been lifted while others were reduced to a warning.

Evacuation Order Reduced to a Warning

Amador County:
• Hwy 49/Bell Rd., Courier Rd. Shenandoah Rd. and Upton Rd.

El Dorado County:
• All of Upton Rd., Jaybird, D’Agnostini, Bertone, Squirrel Hollow, and Rabbit

Evacuation Order Canceled

El Dorado County:
• Deer Haven/Sand Ridge East to Somerset, Buzzard’s Gulch, Van Pooka, and La
• All areas/roads East of E16/Mt. Aukum Dr., between Coyote Junction to Gray’s

Evacuation Warning Canceled

El Dorado County:

• San Ridge Road/Morning Canyon to Gorge View to Horseshoe Bend to Gray’s
Corner to E16/Mt., Aukum Rd. to Buck’s Bar/Sand Ridge Rd.

At 10 a.m., all evacuations warnings for the area of Outingdale Community have been
rescinded. All homes East of E16 (Mt Aukum Rd.) is open for residents to return.

Traffic Control Point remain at the following locations:

• Sand Ridge Rd. at Deerhaven
• E16 at Lone Barn
• E16 at Brinkwood
• Flat Creek at Bertone

The following areas remain under an Evacuation Order:

• Flat Creek Rd.
• Brinkwood Rd.
• Painted Pony Rd.
• Higgins Rd.
• Twin Rivers Rd. and all connecting roads.

Residents returning to the area may be required to show identification and proof of residency. Cal Fire encourages residents returning to the area to drive safely and watch for fire equipment and firefighter activity within those affected areas.

9 A.M.  There's positive news this morning about the Sand Fire, which has burned 3,800 acres in Amador and El Dorado counties.

Cal Fire says some of the hundreds who were evacuated over the weekend may be able to go home.

Marianne Russ: What are you hearing from the people who are returning today?

Bob Moffitt: Relief and gratitude. Relief that they were able to make it out. Also, relief that they have homes that they can return to. There are 13 homes, at last count, that were taken by the fire and those people don't have a place to go home to. They're also expressing gratitude that they were able to make it out alive. Many are saying that they're planning to rebuild and go through the process, as lengthy as it is.

Russ: What are the firefighting conditions like?

Moffitt: They're saying it's pretty good, blue skies overhead, little wind, good containment lines. They're hoping to complete the circle around it and have a good barrier around the circumference of the fire, to make sure it doesn't leap out of those lines. 

8 A.M. CapRadio's Bob Moffitt has an update.

Marianne Russ: When will people be able to go home?

Bob Moffitt: Those who live east 16, they'll be allowed to get back after 10 a.m. Then those who live north of Bell will be allowed back some time this afternoon. The crews are putting the estimated containment at 65 percent around the fire. But it hasn't grown any. In firefighter terms, 65 percent, they mean closer to 100 percent because it's not growing. They just want to make sure that every last inch of 100- to 300-yard area bordering the fire is totally out and there's no chance that it's going to spark up again.

Russ:Where are the resources going today?

Moffitt: Mopping up around the neighborhoods where the fire came close and making sure nothing flares up again. There's a lot of mopping up terminology being used in the morning briefing.

7 A.M. The Sand Fire burning in Amador and El Dorado counties east of Sacramento has charred about 3,800 acres, and hundreds have been evacuated.

Capital Public Radio's Bob Moffitt is following the story, and joins us live from Placerville, where Cal Fire is right now updating crews and handing out the day's assignments. 

Marianne Russ: What have you learned about the firefight this morning.

Bob Moffitt: It went well overnight, containment was increased 65 percent, but fire crews are worried about the weather today. Thunderstorms are forecast late afternoon  up in Lake Tahoe. They’re worried about the winds, from the east to the west, could shift the fire. They’re also worried about the fire making a run up a canyon late afternoon as winds shift.

Russ: What's the biggest challenge for Cal Fire?

Moffitt: It’s a combination. It’s in canyon, they do have the advantage of having several roads surrounding the fire in effect. They have good access to the fire. They’ve had little to no wind, so they’re able to use aircraft. That’s the biggest concern right now is late afternoon weather.

Russ: How busy was the center

Moffitt: There were about 50 vehicles or so in the parking lot and surrounding streets where RVs and people had come there to park. About 13 people actually stayed with the Red Cross but they serve 90 people there last night. Obviously there’s a demand there.  

6:30 A.M.

Firefighters have made significant progress on the 3,800 Sand Fire, which has been burning in Amador and El Dorado counties -- east of Sacramento -- since Friday.

But more than 500 homes are still threatened, and hundreds of people are still evacuated.

Capital Public Radio's Bob Moffitt is at Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs bringing updates of the fire. 

Marianne Russ: What's the latest on the fire itself?

Bob Moffitt:  The latest is good news. Fifty-percent containment now, still at 3,800 acres and the weather forecast isn’t the worst for today . There’s no wind up here at all, that’s usually a major concern for firefighters in their efforts. However there are possible thunderstorms forecast for this afternoon. 

Russ: What's the scene at the evacuation center? Does it seem fairly full?

Moffitt:  A lot of times, when I’ve been to fires, there’s nobody in there. This is completely different, there’s 13 people staying here at the high school. At the parking lot there’s 35 vehicles, there’s another three or four behind the football stadium, where people have driven to the high school and the community is set up here, they’re waiting for word. They’re expecting to hear full briefing from Cal Fire some time 9 a.m. here, there’s supposed to be a full briefing at the command center of the fire in Placerville at 7 a.m. 

6 A.M. -- Sand Fire destroys 10 homes

PLYMOUTH, Calif. (AP) - Firefighters are battling a wildfire that has destroyed 10 homes and forced hundreds of evacuations in the Sierra Nevada foothills, while a fire near Yosemite grew significantly overnight.

Fire officials say the Sand Fire has burned about 3,800 acres in Amador and El Dorado counties since Friday.

Cal Fire spokesman Lynne Tolmachoff says the fire threatens hundreds of homes east of Sacramento.

Authorities have evacuated about 500 homes and closed roads near Plymouth in Amador County's wine-growing region.

Tolmachoff says the fire could grow again Sunday as firefighters brace for high wind and triple-digit heat.

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