Three full weeks since the conflagration first flared up in the Foresthill area, the American Fire is now fully contained, officials reported Friday.
The blaze, which was first reported Aug. 10 about 10 miles northeast of Placer County’s Foresthill community, grew to 27,440 acres and blanketed much of Nevada County in heavy smoke for several days.
The U.S. Forest Service reported firefighters continue active and aggressive mop-up of the fire, “which consists of seeking out and destroying hot spots in the fire area. Although full containment of the fire has been reached, area residents and visitors should expect to see smoke from smoldering stumps and vegetation on the forest floor for some time. Firefighters working in the interior of the fire are paying close attention to hazards, including burned trees above and burning tree stump holes and root systems on the ground.
“With the Labor Day Holiday weekend upon us, forest visitors are urged to comply with area and road closures. These closures are in place to protect visitors and firefighters. The closed roads and areas are unsafe due to several factors, including fire-weakened, burned trees that pose a risk of falling; burning holes in the ground from tree roots and stumps; and heavy smoke making visibility extremely poor. These areas and roads will continue to be re-evaluated and will be re-opened as soon as possible.”
At its height, the American Fire had nearly 2,000 total personnel battling the blaze, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Dry Labor Day sparks fire concerns
Cal Fire officials are urging Californians to be extra careful with their outdoor plans this holiday weekend, as fire activity and fire danger remain high statewide. The Labor Day weekend is often known as the unofficial end of summer, and millions of people will take advantage of the holiday to visit California’s great outdoors. In anticipation of the increased outdoor activities, Cal Fire officials are urging everyone to exercise extra caution and safety this Labor Day weekend.
“The past several weeks our firefighters have been extremely busy up and down the state with major wildfires including the over 200,000-acre Rim Fire burning near Yosemite National Park,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of Cal Fire. “All summer long the potential for wildfires has been much higher than normal, and this weekend is no different.”
The increase in fire activity and the heightened fire potential have Cal Fire asking for the public’s help. “We need all residents and visitors to take steps to prevent wildfires,” said Pimlott. “It only takes one spark to ignite a major wildfire, and with over 9,000 firefighters already committed to the major fires burning in California, we must all do everything we can to prevent another.”
Cal Fire offers these important steps to help prevent wildfires:
Obtain a campfire permit.
Check for local fire restrictions.
Clear away grass, leaves and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any campfire.
Have a responsible person in attendance at all times.
Ensure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving.
When barbecuing, never leave the grill unattended.
Watch this short video on campfire safety: http://youtu.be/f8kFVSOjOGo
Never pull over in dry grass.
Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained.
When towing, ensure chains are not dragging on the ground.
Check your tire pressure to avoid driving on an exposed wheel rim.
Watch this short video on preventing vehicle sparked wildfires: http://youtu.be/TRUJt03KvTY