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Area fires keeping crews busy (PHOTO GALLERY)

Oak Fire, 22.8 acres in Colfax; Twin Fire, 2 acres in Grass Valley

A firefighter walks past the flames of the Twin Fire, which burned 2 acres Monday evening off Rough and Ready Highway in Grass Valley. New fire starts become more frequent as the overall daily temperatures rise.
Photo: Elias Funez

As temperatures rise, so do the probabilities for new vegetation fires which firefighters from throughout the region have been busy dealing with recently.


On Tuesday afternoon a small vegetation fire in Grass Valley’s Glenbrook Basin was cause for alarm when multiple witness reports came in for a fire near the intersection of Plaza Drive and Brunswick Road.

A column of smoke quickly dissipated after arriving officers first used their extinguishers kept in their patrol vehicles to attack the flames, which were burning mostly in dry grass.

Firefighters from Grass Valley and Nevada City followed up with suppression efforts using both hose and hand tools to keep the fire from escaping a 20-foot by 10-foot spot.

While Grass Valley police did make an arrest in the area following the fire, officers said the arrest had nothing to do with the initial incident.

“We have a number of witnesses, but no arrests for arson for unlawful burning at this time,” Grass Valley Police Sgt. Brian Blakemore said.

“Believed to be an accidental ignition.”

Fire extinguishers used by Grass Valley police help extinguish the Plaza Fire Tuesday in Grass Valley’s Glenbrook Basin.
Photo: Elias Funez


Around 5:30 p.m. Monday the Twin Fire broke out along the 11700 block of Rough and Ready Highway across from Twin Cities Church.

Witnesses in the area reported hearing loud explosions and firefighters quickly reported that the fire was spotting from its initial position.

A Grass Valley air tanker assigned to the Oak Fire in Colfax quickly diverted to the Twin Fire, making retardant drops and providing air to ground support.

The cause of the Twin Fire is still under investigation, according to officials.

It was kept to 2 acres, including two larger spots and two smaller spots.

Grass Valley and Nevada City Firefighters work to extinguish a 20-foot by 10-foot vegetation fire that caused alarm before being quickly handled by first responders Tuesday.
Photo: Elias Funez


While above the Twin Fire on Monday, Grass Valley air attack spotted a column of smoke coming from an incident which started about three weeks ago on July 24 along East Digger Hill Way in Rough and Ready.

The column was reported as a rekindle and is not typical, though the area was still under patrol and the fire had not been declared fully contained.

“It’s just that the fuels are so dry,” Cal Fire Public Information Officer Mary Eldridge said. “We had wind on it and the heat.”

The flames of the Twin Fire burn near a container shed off Rough and Ready Highway in Grass Valley Monday afternoon. The fire was kept to 2 acres.
Photo: Elias Funez


On Tuesday, firefighters made progress on the Oak Fire, which started Monday along Live Oak Road outside of Weimar and Colfax. It was 20% contained by Tuesday afternoon.

The fire was caused by a commercial vehicle, as flames spread into the vegetation.

Forward progress of the fire has been stopped at 22.8 acres.

A helitack helicopter makes a water bucket drop on a spot of the Twin Fire Monday evening off Rough and Ready Highway.
Photo: Elias Funez
Grass Valley air tanker 88 keeps a close eye on the Twin Fire after making retardant drops Monday afternoon. Tanker 88 was called off the Oak Fire, which burned over 20 acres outside of Colfax and Weimar.
Photo: Elias Funez
Firefighters get into place while working the Twin Fire along Rough and Ready Highway in Grass Valley Monday.
Photo: Elias Funez
Helitack firefighters unload on the front lawn of Twin Cities Church and prepare to attach the water dropping bucket from a line while fighting Monday evening’s Twin Fire in Grass Valley.
Photo: Elias Funez
Fallen tree branches and logs burn during a Monday evening vegetation fire off the 11700 block of Rough and Ready Highway across from Twin Cities Church in Grass Valley. The fire was kept to 2 acres.
Photo: Elias Funez

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email, efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230

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