Christopher Rosacker

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August 16, 2013
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Over 1,000 people fight American Fire

After nearly a week, the American Fire scorching the Tahoe National Forest northeast of Foresthill expanded to nearly 7,500 acres Friday.

Because of the increase in size, the percentage of containment was decreased to 31 percent Friday, forest officials said.

The blaze made a significant three-mile advance Thursday night up Secret Canyon to Ford Point, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

“Full suppression efforts are in progress, but the containment percentage decreased because of the increased acreage,” said Tahoe National Forest Public Affairs Officer Gwen Ernst-Ulrich.

Approximately 1,225 individuals are currently battling the fire, including 41 hand crews, 35 engines, 21 water tenders, 15 dozers, eight helicopters and air tankers.

The fire is burning in steep terrain in dense timber in an area that has not burned in several decades, which is contributing to the heavy smoke.

Officials reported progress on the blaze’s southern front using dozer lines. The forest service, other agencies and private landowners are collaborating to establish a strategy and tactics to minimize impacts on resources and local communities.

One building has been lost to the inferno, officials said. It was described as an outbuilding. No injuries had yet been reported and no evacuations have been ordered.

“The Foresthill community is not threatened,” Ernst-Ulrich said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Air quality is affected in a wide area surrounding the fire area. During the day, areas north and northeast of the fire are likely to experience higher smoke concentration while evening smoke inversions are expected to push smoke into areas downslope of the fire.

People should take appropriate precautions concerning smoke. Several counties have issued air quality advisories.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call (530) 477-4236.

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The Union Updated Aug 16, 2013 11:55PM Published Aug 18, 2013 03:08PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.