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August 23, 2013
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Containment of American Fire improves to 66 percent


The American Fire blazing near Foresthill was 66 percent contained as of Friday morning, a 6 percent improvement from Thursday, reported fire agencies.

The total acreage burned is 20,232 acres, and 13.5 miles of security line are left to build, said Peter Frenzen, information officer for California Interagency Incident Management Team 4.

Progress was made Thursday night on the northeast corner of the fire after a path was burned out to remove the available vegetation for the fire to burn, reducing the risk of it spreading toward the canyons, Frenzen said.

Smoke has affected surrounding areas primarily at night and in the morning because wind moves up toward the valley during the day and downward at night.

“The interior burning in the canyons releases a lot of smoke to begin with, and we’ve added to that with the burning of the northeast corner,” Frenzen said. “The challenge is we can only burn when the conditions are right with the wind.”

Of the 1,812 individuals who have been involved with the American Fire, 14 have sustained minor injuries, Frenzen said.

“We’re always pleased to see no accidents,” Frenzen said. “There’s been bee stings, sprained ankles; dehydration is a big one working in those conditions, but from this last reporting period, there have been no injuries.”

The fire is expected to be fully contained Sept. 1.

The road closures affected by the American Fire as cited by Tahoe National Forest Public Affairs Officer Gwen Ernst-Ulrich include Gobblers Mosquito Ridge Road, which is closed from the junction of Ralston Ridge Road to the junction of the Duncan Diversion Dam access road, west of French Meadows Reservoir.

Foresthill Road is closed from Humbug Canyon Road to Robinson Flat Campground, and Forest Road 43 (Robinson Flat Road) is closed from Robinson Flat Campground to Mosquito Ridge Road.

Robinson Flat Campground and Duncan Peak Lookout remain closed, and French Meadow Reservoir and access to the Oxbow Middle Fork American Rafting Launch put-in remain open.

Nearly a dozen wildfires have racked California, requiring about 8,000 firefighters, according to a press release by Cal Fire information officer Daniel Berlant.

Several are only partially contained as of today, including the Stanislaus National Forest Rim Fire in Tuolumne County, northeast of Groveland, that has burned 105,620 acres, threatened 4,500 residences and is 2 percent contained.

The Mission Fire in Monterey County on the Fort Hunter Liggett Military Installation has burned 2,500 acres and is 25 percent contained.

The Orleans Complex in Siskiyou County has burned 20,496 acres, with 35 percent containment.

The Corral Complex fire in Humboldt County, part of Six Rivers National Forest east of the Hoopa Indian Reservation, has burned 10,239 acres and is 0 percent contained.

For more information, contact the Information Call Center at 530-367-8020 or visit http://fs.usda.gov/tahoe or http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3624. For smoke information, visit http://placer.ca.gov/apcd.

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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The Union Updated Aug 24, 2013 12:10AM Published Aug 26, 2013 10:23AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.