Bridge Fire in mop-up stage, cause remains unknown (Video) |

Bridge Fire in mop-up stage, cause remains unknown (Video)

Vehicles and pedestrians make their way along Highway 49 through the Auburn State Recreation Area following the start of the Bridge Fire Sunday afternoon in the American River Canyon. The fire is now in the mop up stage.
Photo: Elias Funez

Update Wednesday 8:22 a.m.:

The Bridge Fire is 50% contained as of Wednesday morning and saw no growth overnight, remaining at 411 acres, according to Cal Fire.

Initially Posted:

The Bridge Fire had burned 411 acres and was 25% contained as of Tuesday morning, as Cal Fire officials expressed confidence that the blaze is now in the mop-up stage.

With steady progress being made by firefighters over the previous two days, combined with generally favorable weather, Placer County authorities were able to lift all evacuations from the Bridge Fire Monday evening, although the Auburn State Recreation Area — including Lake Clementine — remains closed for now, according to a Cal Fire press release.

“The fire exhibited minimal activity during the overnight operational period,” the release said. “Areas where heat was observed were on islands that were isolated to the interior of the burn perimeter. Fire personnel focused their efforts on mop-up of the fire, including these interior islands of heat.”

However, officials cautioned that an uptick in wind activity, along with especially dry conditions predicted in Tuesday’s weather forecast, could hamper efforts to extinguish the blaze and also increase the possibility of new hot spots erupting.

“High temperatures and moderate winds will impact the fire area today, increasing the risk of flare ups. Residents should remain vigilant and prepared,” said John Michelini, an official with the Foresthill Fire District, who posted a statement on the fire’s status.

“A heat advisory has been issued in the Sacramento Valley due to high temperatures through Thursday evening. Combined with low humidities, full mop up and containment of the fire is a priority,” Cal Fire’s release said.

Virtually all road closures impacted by the Bridge Fire have subsequently been reopened, although Old Foresthill Road remains closed between Highway 49 and Foresthill Road.

Officials said that the fire’s cause is unknown and remains under investigation, refuting rumors circulated on social media that one or more suspects had been arrested for arson in connection with the Bridge Fire.

“Contrary to information on social media, there are no identified suspects and there have been no arrests,” Michelini said. “The cause is undetermined at this time.”

Mary Eldridge, a spokesperson for Cal Fire, said that no suspects are under investigation for causing the Bridge Fire.

Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at

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