Bolts spark Bullards blazes |

Bolts spark Bullards blazes

Firefighting crews had to jump into a boat to fight two blazes Wednesday on the west shore of Bullards Bar Reservoir that are expected to be contained today, according to a Plumas National Forest official.

The seven-acre Bullards Fire and the five-acre Garden Fire burst out from lightning strikes from Tuesday night’s thunderstorms, according to Ann Westling of the Tahoe National Forest.

The blazes are in Yuba County near Camptonville and North San Juan, and crews from Calfire, the Plumas and Tahoe national forests responded.

The initial attack was made Wednesday morning by a Forest Service boat after firefighters realized there were no nearby roads to get crews into the blazes.

Helicopter attack crews from both forests rappelled into the blaze areas as well because of the lack of roads, Allan Setzer of the Plumas National Forest said. A bulldozer eventually cut a line toward them from the nearest road so that engines and hand crews could get closer.

No one has been injured and no structures have burned, Setzer said.

At the Emerald Cove Marina near the reservoir dam on Marysville Road, the blazes were not threatening the area, said marina worker Anna Orlandi.

“It’s kind of hazy,” Orlandi said, because of smoke from the wildfires.

No blazes were reported in the Tahoe National Forest, much of which is in Nevada County. A reconnaissance plane flew over the forest Wednesday, looking for more fires or smoldering areas, but none were found.

A Forest Service lightning-strike computer map showed numerous hits in Northern California Tuesday night, with about 10 of them hitting on a line south from the Bullards Bar Reservoir area into the western Nevada County foothills.

Many other strikes occurred in the southern Cascade Mountains in far Northern California and in the Sacramento Valley between Redding and Sacramento.

More than 800 lightning-strike fires broke out in Northern California on June 21, the biggest single outbreak of wildland blazes in the north state’s recorded history.

As the summer continues and periodic thunderstorms roll through the Sierra, the possibilities of more fires in ultra-dry grass and timber will be extreme, according to Calfire, particularly below 5,500 feet.

To contact Senior Staff Writer, e-mail or call 477-4237.

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