We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

Crews Battle Access, Terrain On Trailhead Fire


UPDATE July 4, 6 p.m.

The Trailhead Fire is 50 percent contained at 5,444 acres. More than 2,116 fire personnel are working the fire, which started June 28 in the Middle Fork of the American River Canyon in Placer County. The fire is now in El Dorado County and on the Eldorado National Forest. The cause is under investigation.

070416 Trailhead Fire -P PM UPDATEA resource advisor monitors the Trailhead Fire. InciWeb / Courtesy

The mandatory evacuation order for people living in the areas of Volcanoville, Buckeye Point, and Kentucky Flat have been reduced to a voluntary evacuation order effective 8 p.m. Monday, according to the latest update.

"Roads associated with the evacuation will be opened to residents with identification only," according to fire managers. "Residents are asked not to attempt to get access prior to 8 p.m. as fire traffic is extremely heavy on the road. The fire is still active in the area, and residents should be ready to evacuate again if the order is raised to mandatory."

070416 Trailhead Fire -PM Update TentsFire engines and vehicle support for the Trailhead Fire in Placer and El Dorado counties.  InciWeb / Courtesy

El Dorado County voluntary evacuations affect the following areas:

  • El Dorado County: Air Shaft, Antwine, Bear Flat, Bear Flat South, Bottle Hill, Bottle Hill Road, Bottle Hill Bypass, Breedlove Road, East side of from Canyon Creek to Bottle Hill, North of Canyon Creek, East from the intersection of Cement Hill Road, Dru Barner, Earthsong Lane, Four Wheeler Drive, Garden Tower Lane, N Hyder, S Hyder, Jinnor, Kelliher, La Cresta Drive, Little Miner, Mameluke Hill Road, Mining Claim, Miners Delight, Otter Creek Road, South of Otter Creek, South of Otter Creek, Paymaster Loop, Roanoak, Rowdy Road, Slow Go Road, Stag Lane, Strawn, Tierra Lane, North of Wentworth Springs Road, NF 13N16a.

Volcanoville area:

  • 4 Wheel Drive Road, Bear State Road, Bearfoot Road, Breedlove Road, North of Bottle Hill Road, Bojac Court, Cassill Mine Road, Cecil Lane, Cedar Maddone Road, Christmas Tree Lane, Country Court, Country Road, Dusty Camp Road, Dusty Mine Road, El Bosque Place, Haven Ridge Road, Haven Ridge Court, Hobby Horse Lane, Kentucky Flat Road, Lake Avenue, Lofty Peak Lane, Merkel Drive, Mosswood Road, Narrow Way, Pay Master Mine Road, Ringtale Road, Shotgun Lane, Spring Tunnel Mine Road, Spirit Creek, Star Lake, Sticker Bush Trail, Sunset Peak Lane, Tall Timber Road, Thumper Lane, Tin Ranch Road, Tinsel Trail, Tipten Hill Court, Tullamore Lane, Wolfridge Road, Volcanoville Road, and an unnamed road (west of Volcanoville Road) Possibly Cock Robin Road.

070416 Trailhead Fire -P PM Update Camp1More than 2,000 personnel from multiple agencies worked the Trailhead Fire. Crews camp among the trees in fire camp.  InciWeb / Courtesy

 

Previous update 7:30 a.m. Monday, July 4

The Trailhead Fire in Placer and El Dorado Counties is 25 percent contained at 5,444 acres. The major portion of the wildfire is in El Dorado County and the Eldorado National Forest.

The fire started on June 28 in the Middle Fork of the American River Canyon in Placer County. The cause is under investigation.

Fire managers say the increase in the size of the wildfire was not due to natural fire growth, but because of the recent burnout operation during the weekend.

On the Placer County side of the fire "lines held well and crews are monitoring the fire," the latest Incident Report notes. 

On the El Dorado County side of the fire, "the fire was relatively quiet along the [American] river, with all lines holding well overnight."

070216 Trailhead Fire -P InciwebMore than 2,100 fire personnel, including 80 hand crews, are working to contain the Trailhead Fire in Placer and El Dorado Counties.  InciWeb / Courtesy

The fire was "moderately active"on Sunday with "containment lines west of Volcanoville holding up well overnight."

"Crews did not detect any additional spot fires on the north side of the fireline (Smith Ranch west to Jesse Canyon)," the update notes. "From Smith Ranch to Buckeye Point, firefighters mopped up as far as 100 feet from the line. Despite receiving heavy smoke from other areas of the fire, the east side near Volcanoville was relatively inactive.

"Successful burnout operations from previous shifts have established a wide buffer between the main fire and unburned vegetation, helping to protect the residences in Volcanoville. Crews on the south side of the fire continued burnout operations, mopped up fireline, and started assessing dozer line for repair work. Aircraft assisted firefighters by dropping water and retardant, mainly on the southern side."

070316 Trailhead Fire - Plane .chopper CFAir tankers and helicopters work the Trailhead Fire in Placer and El Dorado counties by dropping water and retardant on the wildfire, which started June 28. Cal Fire / Courtesy

The only campground directly affected by the fire is Georgetown Ranger District’s Dru Barner Campground, which is within the closure area. No roads or campgrounds are closed in the Tahoe National Forest due to the fire. 

Access to the Middle Fork of the American River from Oxbow Reservoir put in to Ruck-A-Chucky take out is temporarily closed to protect firefighter and public safety.

070416 Trailhead Fire Map -Google

No structures have been damaged or destroyed by the Trailhead Fire, but 2,600 structures are threatened.

The most updated evacuation information for El Dorado County is on the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department website.

Placer County mandatory evacuations have been downgraded to advisory. Residents should be aware of increased traffic due to firefighters and equipment in the Todd Valley area.

The Cal Fire Monday update says more than 5,100 firefighters are working 11 large wildfires throughout California, including the Trailhead Fire, covering nearly 75,000 acres.

070416 CALFIRE FIRE MAP-AM


UPDATE 7 p.m. Sunday, July 3

Containment increased, as did the number of acres Sunday, for the Trailhead Fire in El Dorado and Placer counties. The wildfire, which started June 28, has burned 5,044 acres and is 20 percent contained.

The Trailhead Fire started on June 28 in the Middle Fork of the American River Canyon in Placer County. The major portion of the fire is in El Dorado County and on the Eldorado National Forest.

070316 Trailhead Fire -P Sunday Engine CrewsSome of the 124 engine crews working the Trailhead Fire in El Dorado County and the Eldorado National Forest Sunday, July 3.  InciWeb / Courtesy

More than 2,127 personnel are working in the air and on the ground, including Hotshots, to contain the fire, which is burning in steep, heavily forested canyon areas.

Resources

Engines: 124
Crews: 80
Dozers: 29
Watertenders: 9
Helicopters: 11
Air Tankers: As needed
Total Personnel: 2127

No structures have been damaged or destroyed since the fire started, but 2,600 structures are threatened.

The most updated evacuation information for El Dorado County is on the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department website.

Placer County mandatory evacuations have been downgraded to advisory. Residents should be aware of increased traffic due to firefighters and equipment in the Todd Valley area.

070316 Trailhead Fire -P PM SundayFire crews have been successful in strengthening containment lines on the Trailhead Fire in Placer and El Dorado counties and the Eldorado National Forest. Daniel Berlant/Cal Fire/YubaNet / Courtesy 


UPDATE 8 a.m. Sunday, July 3

More than 2,217 fire personnel are working to contain the Trailhead Fire in El Dorado and Placer counties.

The fire, which started on June 28 in the Middle Fork of the American River Canyon in Placer County, is now in El Dorado County and on the Eldorado National Forest. It has burned 3,936 acres and is 12 percent contained.

Evacuation orders remain in effect and the fire continues to move east up Otter Creek and Missouri Canyon and the Middle Fork of the American River, according to Cal Fire.

"On the Placer County side of the fire, all containment lines held well overnight," according to the Sunday Incident Update. "Crews continue to patrol and monitor fire lines carefully, and to mop up fire lines to ensure that the fire near them is out. They will continue today."

Fire managers say residents in Todd Valley, under a voluntary evacuation, should "remain vigilant as there is still open line fire line across the narrow, steep American River canyon."

070316 Trailhead Fire -EnginesThere are 124 engines working the Trailhead Fire in El Dorado County and the Eldorado National Forest.  InciWeb / Courtesy

"On the El Dorado County side of the fire, firefighters worked overnight, using favorable night time temperatures and higher humidity to fire off of existing containment lines," the report says.

"They have now completed line from west of Jakeys Hill west to Buckeye Point and eventually to the river. Several type one hand crews (Hotshots) also worked to burn down to the river bottom to lower the energy of the fire as it backs toward the river, lessening the chance that it will cross the river and run up the dry, south-facing slope opposite. Those crews remained at the river overnight to continue to monitor and hold the fire."

The report says firefighters were able to take care of several spot fires "and hold the fire at the American River, an important operational objective. They will continue that work today."

"In the Volcanoville area, crews continued to strengthen lines west of the community, and to assess and triage structures in the areas around Volcanoville, Kentucky Flat and Bottle Hill," according to the update. "They will work to hold and improve lines today."

The fire is under unified command between Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service.

Crews worked through the night to finish burnout operations started by the day shift Saturday.

Firefighters also worked early Sunday morning to patrol, hold, and improve existing containment lines; secure firelines around structures; and prepared areas for crews to conduct burnout operations during the day shift Sunday.

070316 Trailhead Fire -Night Work

Firefighters work during the night to contain the Trailhead Fire in El Dorado County and the Eldorado National Forest. More than 2,120 personnel are working the wildfire, which threatens 2,600 homes. Eldorado National Forest/InciWeb / Courtesy

Mandatory Evacuation

The following areas are under a mandatory evacuation:

El Dorado County: Air Shaft, Antwine, Bear Flat, Bear Flat South, Bottle Hill, Bottle Hill Road, Bottle Hill Bypass, Breedlove Road, East side of from Canyon Creek to Bottle Hill, North of Canyon Creek, East from the intersection of Cement Hill Road, Dru Barner, Earthsong Lane, Four Wheeler Drive, Garden Tower Lane, N Hyder, S Hyder, Jinnor, Kelliher, La Cresta Drive, Little Miner, Mameluke Hill Road, Mining Claim, Miners Delight, Otter Creek Road, South of Otter Creek, South of Otter Creek, Paymaster Loop, Roanoak, Rowdy Road, Slow Go Road, Stag Lane, Strawn, Tierra Lane, North of Wentworth Springs Road, NF 13N16a.

Volcanoville area: 4 Wheel Drive Road, Bear State Road, Bearfoot Road, Breedlove Road, North of Bottle Hill Road, Bojac Court, Cassill Mine Road, Cecil Lane, Cedar Maddone Road, Christmas Tree Lane, Country Court, Country Road, Dusty Camp Road, Dusty Mine Road, El Bosque Place, Haven Ridge Road, Haven Ridge Court, Hobby Horse Lane, Kentucky Flat Road, Lake Avenue, Lofty Peak Lane, Merkel Drive, Mosswood Road, Narrow Way, Pay Master Mine Road, Ringtale Road, Shotgun Lane, Spring Tunnel Mine Road, Spirit Creek, Star Lake, Sticker Bush Trail, Sunset Peak Lane, Tall Timber Road, Thumper Lane, Tin Ranch Road, Tinsel Trail, Tipten Hill Court, Tullamore Lane, Wolfridge Road, Volcanoville Road, and an unnamed road (west of Volcanoville Road) Possibly Cock Robin Road.

The most updated evacuation information is on the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department website.

070316 Trailhead Fire -Cal Fire Map

Placer County mandatory evacuations have been downgraded to advisory. Residents should be aware of increased traffic due to firefighters and equipment in the Todd Valley area.

An advisory evacuation order is in place for all homes east of Green Ridge Road to Oakwood Lane to Nugget Drive, Skyview Terrace Mobile Home Park, Oak Wood Court, Vinewood Court, Trail Head Court, Green Pine Court, Alton Trail Court, Gray Court, Tevis Court, and White Tail Court and homes to the west of the above.

070316 Trailhead Fire - Plane .chopper CFAir tankers and helicopters are of "extreme importance" in the effort to contain the Trailhead Fire in El Dorado County and the Eldorado National Forest. Cal Fire / Courtesy

Road Closures

El Dorado County road closures:

  • Bottle Hill Road at Wentworth Springs Road
  • Mameluke Hill Road at Canyon Creek
  • Breedlove at Canyon Creek Volcanoville Road

Placer County road closures: Nugget Drive and Oakwood Lane is restricted to residents only.

The Cal Fire Sunday update says more than 4,800 firefighters are working 12 large wildfires throughout California, including the Trailhead Fire, covering nearly 75,000 acres.

070316 Cal Fire MAP

This map created by Cal Fire shows the general locations of major wildfires in California on July 3.  Cal Fire / Courtesy


UPDATE 9 p.m. July 2

The Trailhead Fire in El Dorado and Placer counties is 3,387 acres and 12 percent contained. More than 2,120 firefighters are working to contain the wildfire, which started June 28.

The Saturday evening update says crews had "a very productive day fighting the fire."

"Aircraft supported firefighters on the ground with water and retardant drops," according to the report from Cal Fire and the Eldorado National Forest. "Weather conditions allowed firefighters on the north and east sides of the fire to conduct burnout operations and strengthen contingency lines, protecting the communities of Foresthill and Volcanoville. Burning from a fireline toward the main fire creates a buffer between the active fire front and unburned vegetation outside the line, which increases the liklihood that the fire will not cross those lines."

The update says 2,600 structures are threatened, but no structures have been damaged or destroyed.

"Smoke from the fire itself and from burnout operations was very visible today," the update notes. "The fire was most active on the southeast side, near Quartz Canyon and Little Bald Mountain, and on the northeast side near Volcanoville. It is not active on the north side."

The report says fire crews tonight will "finish burnout operations started by the day shift."

"Other priorities for firefighters tonight are to patrol, hold, and improve existing containment lines; secure firelines around structures; and prepare areas for crews to conduct burnout operations tomorrow."

070216 Trailhead Fire -PM-NWS

Photo of aerial resources at work on the Trailhead Fire Friday afternoon, July 1. The photo was taken by Mike Smith, with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, who is the Incident Meteorologist on scene. The helicopter is working on the east side of the fire near Volcanoville.  Mike Smith NWS Sacramento / Courtesy 

Resources

 
Overhead personnel: 181
Air tankers: as needed
Helicopters: 13
Dozers: 29
Hand crews: 76
Engines: 124
Water tenders: 9
 

Mandatory Evacuations

The following areas are under a mandatory evacuation.

  • El Dorado County: Air Shaft, Antwine, Bear Flat, Bear Flat South, Bottle Hill, Bottle Hill Road, Bottle Hill Bypass, Breedlove Road, East side of from Canyon Creek to Bottle Hill, North of Canyon Creek, East from the intersection of Cement Hill Road, Dru Barner, Earthsong Lane, Four Wheeler Drive, Garden Tower Lane, N Hyder, S Hyder, Jinnor, Kelliher, La Cresta Drive, Little Miner, Mameluke Hill Road, Mining Claim, Miners Delight, Otter Creek Road, South of Otter Creek, South of Otter Creek, Paymaster Loop, Roanoak, Rowdy Road, Slow Go Road, Stag Lane, Strawn, Tierra Lane, North of Wentworth Springs Road, NF 13N16a.
  • Volcanoville area: 4 Wheel Drive Road, Bear State Road, Bearfoot Road, Breedlove Road, North of Bottle Hill Road, Bojac Court, Cassill Mine Road, Cecil Lane, Cedar Maddone Road, Christmas Tree Lane, Country Court, Country Road, Dusty Camp Road, Dusty Mine Road, El Bosque Place, Haven Ridge Road, Haven Ridge Court, Hobby Horse Lane, Kentucky Flat Road, Lake Avenue, Lofty Peak Lane, Merkel Drive, Mosswood Road, Narrow Way, Pay Master Mine Road, Ringtale Road, Shotgun Lane, Spring Tunnel Mine Road, Spirit Creek, Star Lake, Sticker Bush Trail, Sunset Peak Lane, Tall Timber Road, Thumper Lane, Tin Ranch Road, Tinsel Trail, Tipten Hill Court, Tullamore Lane, Wolfridge Road, Volcanoville Road, and an unnamed road (west of Volcanoville Road) Possibly Cock Robin Road.

The report says an advisory evacuation order is in place for all homes east of Green Ridge Road to Oakwood Lane to Nugget Drive, Skyview Terrace Mobile Home Park, Oak Wood Court, Vinewood Court, Trail Head Court, Green Pine Court, Alton Trail Court, Gray Court, Tevis Court, and White Tail Court and homes to the west of the above.

070216 Trailhead Fire Map PM

Road Closures 

Placer County road closures:

  • Nugget Drive and Oakwood Lane is restricted to residents only.

El Dorado County road closures:

  • Bottle Hill Road at Wentworth Springs Road
  • Mameluke Hill Road at Canyon Creek
  • Breedlove at Canyon Creek
  • Volcanoville Road

Cal Fire says nearly 5,000 firefighters were working 11 large wildfires, covering more than 70,000 acres, throughout California on July 2.


 

UPDATE July 2 9 a.m.

The Trailhead Fire in El Dorado and Placer counties grew to 3,218 acres Saturday and is 12 percent contained. More than 1,927 federal, state and local fire personnel are working in steep, heavily forested canyons to contain the wildfire.

Hot and dry weather is forecast to persist over the fire area through the weekend. The cause is under investigation.

The latest update says 2,600 structures are threatened and none have been destroyed or damaged. 

"Firefighters made good progress last night [Friday] conducting defensive firing operations in the area west of Volcanoville toward Buckeye Point to protect the community as the active fire front approaches containment lines," according to the Saturday update. "Hot, dry conditions, and difficult terrain challenge firefighters, and crews anticipate another busy shift. The community of Volcanoville, and the surrounding area, remains under a mandatory evacuation order to protect public and firefighter safety. Firefighters will also continue constructing line down toward the Middle Fork of the American River today, as conditions allow." 

070216 Trailhead Fire -P Inciweb

More than 1,927 firefighters are working to contain the Trailhead Fire, which is in steep, forested canyons in El Dorado and Placer counties and the Eldorado National Forest.  InciWeb/El Dorado National Forest / Courtesy

The update says "steep, narrow American River canyon is a major concern, and a priority today is keeping fire on the southeast side of the river. Firefighters are using favorable night time conditions, with cooler temperatures and downslope winds, to conduct firing operations, and the public should be aware of increased fire activity and smoke during these times."

Cal Fire reported Saturday that the Trailhead Fire is one of 12 large wildfires covering nearly 70,000 acres in California, with more than 4,800 firefighters working to get full containment.

The fire started Tuesday afternoon, June 28, and the major portion of the fire is in El Dorado County and the Eldorado National Forest, near the middle fork of the American River canyon south of Todd Valley.

There will be a public meeting July 2, at Golden Sierra High School, 5101 Garden Valley Road, in Garden Valley at 7 p.m.

070216 Trailhead Fire - Cal Fire DC10

Aerial support has been crucial in slowing the progress of the Trailhead Fire. Fire officials say drones prevented air resources from attacking the fire on two separate occasions, delaying them for one hour in one instance, 30 minutes in the other drone incursion. Cal Fire / Courtesy

 

Evacuations have been lifted for residents of Placer County, where evacuations "have been downgraded to advisory."

But mandatory evacuations remain for areas of El Dorado County:

  • Mameluke Hill Road, East side of from Canyon Creek to Bottle Hill, Bottle Hill Road, East from the intersection of Cement Hill Road, Roanoak, Bear Flat, Bear Flat South, Bottle Hill, Antwine, Jinnor, Kelliher, South of Otter Creek, N Hyder, S Hyder, Miners Delight, Air Shaft, Little Miner, Breedlove Road, North of Canyon Creek, La Cresta Drive, Strawn, Mining Claim, Paymaster Loop, Otter Creek Road, South of Otter Creek, Four Wheeler Drive, Earthsong Lane, Slow Go Road, Bottle Hill Bypass, Rowdy Road, Stag Lane, Dru Barner, North of Wentworth Springs Road, Tierra Lane, NF 13N16a, Garden Tower Lane.
  • Volcanoville area - 4 Wheel Drive Road, Bear State Road, Bearfoot Road, Breedlove Road, North of Bottle Hill Road, Bojac Court, Cassill Mine Road, Cecil Lane, Cedar Maddone Road, Christmas Tree Lane, Country Court, Country Road, Dusty Camp Road, Dusty Mine Road, El Bosque Place, Haven Ridge Road, Haven Ridge Court, Hobby Horse Lane, Kentucky Flat Road, Lake Avenue, Lofty Peak Lane, Merkel Drive, Mosswood Road, Narrow Way, Pay Master Mine Road, Ringtale Road, Shotgun Lane, Spring Tunnel Mine Road, Spirit Creek, Star Lake, Sticker Bush Trail, Sunset Peak Lane, Tall Timber Road, Thumper Lane, Tin Ranch Road, Tinsel Trail, Tipten Hill Court, Tullamore Lane, Wolfridge Road, Volcanoville Road, and an unnamed road (west of Volcanoville Road) Possibly Cock Robin Road.

The El Dorado County Sheriff has the most updated evacuation information at their website.

070216 Trailhead Fire -Google Map

Evacuation Shelters:

El Dorado County - Golden Sierra High School at 5101 Garden Valley Road in Garden Valley, and this shelter can accommodate small animals. All large animals need to be transported to 1100 Cold Springs Road, where Animal Services has arranged for accommodations. For assistance with animal evacuations and sheltering for those impacted by the Trailhead Fire, please call Animal Services at 530-621-5795 (until 9:00 pm); please call the El Dorado County Sheriff's non-emergency line at 530-621-6600 (after 9:00 pm).

Road Closures:

  • Placer County Road closures: Nugget Dr and Oakwood Ln restricted to residents only.
  • El Dorado County Road Closures: Bottle Hill Road at Wentworth Springs Road Mameluke Hill Road at Canyon Creek Breedlove at Canyon Creek Volcanoville Road

070216 Trailhead Fire -Drone Graphic 


 

ORIGINAL

The Trailhead Fire in El Dorado and Placer counties is threatening more than 2,500 homes Friday as mandatory evacuations have increased.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Scott McLean, based in northern California, says despite the challenges, more than 1,900 federal and state firefighters are making progress in slowing the advance of the fire.

McLean says the major portion of the Trailhead Fire is in El Dorado County.

"There's approximately a hundred acres of burned area within Placer County and then on the other side of the American River, we're looking at the Eldorado National Forest, where the majority of the fire is," says McLean.

He says getting fire crews where they need to go isn’t easy.

"The physical access is difficult, getting the equipment down to where it's needed to do the job," McLean says. "There are four components to fighting a wildland fire. We have aircraft, dozers, hand crews and engine crews."

070116 TRAILHEADFIRE MAP

McLean explained the process for each component and how they work together.

"The air assets are of extreme importance on this fire because of the accessibility to get to the perimeter of this fire," he says. "We're getting dozers in - the dozers are cutting line to get our equipment and personnel down into the fire area to be able to do a direct attack. Dozers might be stopped by steepness of the terrain or rock outcroppings. That's where our hand crews come in and start putting the line in ... we have 38 hand crews on the Trailhead Fire."

McLean says the past two fire seasons have been "extreme."

"In just this last week we have had over 300 wildland fires in California, about 95 percent of those fires, however, are being kept at 10 acres or less," he says.

McLean says the efforts of fire crews have helped to slow the progress of the Trailhead Fire.

070116 FIRE POTENTIAL JULY

He says with above normal fire potential through October in California, due to four consecutive years of drought, 66 million dead trees and other dead and dying vegetation, people need to be prepared.

"We have to have the public support, heeding evacuation warnings and advisories," he stressed. "Make sure you have that "go bag" ready to go, make sure you have those important documents, make sure you have the animals taken care of, think ahead, be prepared anywhere in the state of California at this point to be evacuated if need be." 

Three preparation steps from Cal Fire

070116 BE PREPARED FOR WILDFIRE