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Applegate Fire Update: Five Homes Destroyed, 1,000 Homes Threatened

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A CAL FIRE helicopter works the Applegate Fire in Placer County Thursday afternoon.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio



Cal Fire

Placer County Sheriff's Office

UPDATE 11:19 P.M. - Containment Grows As Fire Slows

Fire officials say progress has been made on the Applegate Fire, with containment standing at 25 percent late Thursday. Acreage burned has held at 420 through the afternoon and evening.

Steep, rugged terrain has made it difficult for ground crews to work, leaving air tanker and helicopter attacks on the fire the primary tools of the day.

Evacuations are still in place for these areas: Pinecone Peak, Hummingbird Hill, Panorama, High View Ln, Margaret Ann, Montana, Arrora Nova, Easy Ln, Sunny Hill Dr, Sun Valley, Ponderosa to Poppy Lane, Swanson Lane, Ponderosa Way to State Parks Line, Bridge Trail Way, Brushy Ridge, Hidden Ridge, Cross Road, East Ridge, Weaver Hill Lane, Weaver Hill Rd, Sundance Pl, Dundee Ct, Douglas Dr., Dunvegan Dr, Heather Glen Drive, Hotchkiss Dr, Sinclair Ct, John Muir at Swanson to Pine-Ridge, Pine-Ridge to Weimar Cross Rd., Boole Rd From Applegate Rd., Railroad Rd., Marleigh Knoll Ln., Colter Ranch Rd., Mercy Ln., Mengel Ln., Hilltop Ct., Roland Ln., Red Feather Cir., Cerro Vista Dr., Pepper Ranch Rd.


UPDATE 4 P.M. - People Wait Out Applegate Fire At Placer County Shelter

Cal Fire said Thursday the wildfire along Interstate-80 northeast of Auburn has destroyed five homes and 1,000 are threatened. The homes at risk are around the community of Applegate in Placer County, with many homes under mandatory evacuation orders.

1009-applegate-fire-homeprotection-pA CAL FIRE fighter and engine protecting a home in the path of the Applegate Fire Thursday afternoon. Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Gail Lapham and her husband were eating lunch at an Auburn restaurant Thursday when a friend called to say their neighborhood on Heather Glen Drive was under mandatory evacuation.

"We came home and were home less than an hour when the [Placer County] Sheriff knocked on the door and told us we were evacuated,” Lapham said. “And by then we had at least been able to put our clothes in a suitcase and get out of there."


The scene at the Red Cross Evacuation Shelter at the Sierra Vista Community Center in Colfax. Cody Drabble / Capital Public Radio

Now, she and her husband Bill wait out the fire at the Sierra Vista Community Center in Colfax, one of three evacuation centers.

"As far as we know all of the houses in our complex are standing,” said Bill Lapham. “We don't know for sure because we can't get in to see."

There's a community meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in Auburn where people like the Lapham's expect to hear when they can go home. The meeting is at the Community Development Resource Center, 3091 County Center Drive, Auburn 95603

"It's scary, downright scary," said Gail Lapham.

The fire has grown slightly today, standing at 420 acres, with 20 percent containment. There are 1,236 personnel on the incident as of Thursday afternoon.

 1009-applegate-fire-I80-onelane-rTraffic on Interstate-80 eastbound is reduced to one lane Thursday afternoon north of Auburn as fire crews access the Applegate Fire.  Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

1009-applegate-fire-map-pMap of the Applegate Fire as of Thursday afternoon. CAL FIRE PIO




Cal Fire says 1,000 homes are threatened by the fires burning near Auburn. The fire has charred more than 400 acres. It started yesterday afternoon near I-80 in the Applegate area and is 20 percent contained.

Cal Fire says five homes and a number of outbuildings have been destroyed. The fire started yesterday and closed down I-80 eastbound for several hours. Cal Trans reports that eastbound traffic is resuced to one lane from Applegate to Weimar Cross Road in Weimar.

Mandatory evacuations are still in effect. Evacuation centers have been set up in Auburn, Foresthill and Colfax. There is also a shelter set up for animals at the Gold Country fairgrounds in Auburn. CalTrans reports that eastbound traffic is reduced to one lane from Applegate to Weimar Cross Rd. 



The wildfires near Auburn have grown to nearly 400 acres. One home has been destroyed and Cal Fire says 80 structures are threatened. 

The blazes that began yesterday are 10 percent contained. Mandatory evacuations are in effect and shelters have been set up in Auburn, Foresthill and Colfax.

The Placer County Office of Education says classes at Colfax Elementary and Placer Hills Union School District are in session today but the air quality will be monitored closely. I-80 has been reduced to one lane from Applegate to Weimar Cross Road.


 wildfireApplegate Fire

Ed Joyce

Former All Things Considered Anchor & Reporter

Ed Joyce is a former reporter and All Things Considered news anchor at Capital Public Radio. Ed is a veteran journalist with experience in a variety of news positions across all media platforms, including radio, television, web and print.   Read Full Bio 

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