Firefighters battling the American Fire in the Tahoe National Forest approximately 17 miles northeast of Foresthill had more ground to cover Thursday, with the blaze growing to nearly 5,000 acres since the day prior.
Officials estimated that the fire was 35 percent contained as of press time Thursday evening and attributed the inferno’s growth to hot and dry weather, allowing the blaze to spread along the Deadwood Ridge on the north and south ends.
“The fire is burning in steep terrain in heavy timber, in an area that has not burned in several decades, which is contributing to the heavy smoke,” officials from the U.S. Forest Service said in an update Thursday morning.
Approximately 875 people are assigned to the fire — 37 hand crews, 22 engines, seven water tenders, five helicopters, five dozers and air tankers as available.
Responding firefighters are poised for a Thursday night tactic of preparing a line for defensive firing operations along the north end of Deadwood Road, forest officials said.
On the southeast side of the fire, firefighters continue to protect historic mining structures, and neither the Foresthill community nor surrounding communities are in danger, forest officials said. No evacuations have been ordered.
Smoke continues to affect air quality in a wide area surrounding the fire: the Highway 80 corridor, Lake Tahoe Basin, the Sacramento Valley and the surrounding foothills. Officials advise people to take appropriate precautions concerning smoke. Several counties have issued air quality advisories.
Those planning to visit area campgrounds and other recreation sites may also experience intermittent heavy smoke, especially in the evening and early morning hours, forest officials said. People are being asked to stay out of the fire area for their own safety and the safety of firefighting personnel.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4236.