American River fires grow |

American River fires grow

As fire crews gained containment on two out of three fires burning within the Yuba River Complex, a shift in wind intensified fire activity within the steep American River canyon.

Unfavorable wind conditions hampered firefighters ability to start burnout operations along the northeast corner of the fire and northern flank of the Government Springs Fire late Thursday. A total of 4,701 acres of burned and the fire is only 10 percent contained.

The Tahoe National Forest in cooperation with Placer County has announced the closure of the Foresthill Divide Road from China Wall OHV Area to Sailor Flat. This action is a precautionary measure due to the possible increase in fire behavior and associated fire operations over the next several days on the Westville Fire.

Today, fire personnel will continue to assess options for placing bulldozer and hand lines on the northwest corner of the fire to stop it from moving out of Willmont Canyon and Burnett Creek.

Smoke could increase in the I-80 corridor if weather cooperates allowing crews to light burnout operations. On Thursday, an incident command post was moved from the Foresthill Divide Middle School to the Yuba Gap area off I-80.

The Westville Fire increased in activity and has burned 1,025 acres. It is 15 percent contained. A protective wrap was delivered by helicopter to the 100 year old Mumford Bar Cabin, perched close to the fire line. A rotor was damaged on a helicopter when it clipped a treetop during the delivery.

Helicopters are dipping water from Sugar Pine and Lake Valley reservoirs to help extinguish the fire and people recreating there are asked to stay clear of operations.

A number of trails along the American River were closed today including the Euchre Bar, American Eagle, Italian Bar, Beacroft Trail and the American River Trail (east of the Mumford Bar Trail toward the Sailor Flat Trail).

All fires, other than the Fall Fire have been contained within the Yuba River Complex burning in Nevada County. The Fall Fire continues to burn down toward Canyon Creek in steep rugged terrain. So far, the Fall Fire has burned 1,980 acres and is 85 percent contained.

The Scotchman fire has reached full containment and crews will continue to mop up and patrol to ensure containment is maintained.

Bowman Road was re-opened in time for the holiday, allowing access to recreation areas on the east side of the road. All spur roads to the west of Bowman Road as well as Maybert Road leading east from the town of Washington remained closed. A total of 3,813 acres have burned within the complex.

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