Bombers snuff S. Yuba blaze |

Bombers snuff S. Yuba blaze

An early morning strike by air tankers, helicopters and ground crews quickly snuffed out a seven-acre fire that threatened about 10 homes in the South Yuba River canyon near Edwards Crossing Friday.

“They put the kibosh on it before the winds came up and it spread on us,” said Dave Bookout, manager of the Calfire-U.S. Forest Service air attack base at the Grass Valley Airport.

Pilots and crews of the four planes at the base normally come to work about 10 a.m., Bookout said. Friday they began bombing the blaze on the San Juan Ridge at 6:30 a.m. because Calfire was worried that morning winds and rising temperatures would cause the blaze to get out of control.

Firefighters had to hike into the blaze, “on a very steep slope in difficult terrain,” said Chelsea Fox of Calfire. They had it under control about 10:15 a.m. and are mopping up the blaze this afternoon.

The fire was reported at 2:30 a.m. between Grizzly Hill School and Edwards Crossing, Fox said. The fire was off Jackass Flats Road at the end of Silverthorne Lane.

The cause of the blaze in heavy brush in the Spring Creek drainage is under investigation, Fox said. “We know there were no lightning strikes,” overnight.

There were 18 engines at the fire with crews from the North San Juan Fire District, Calfire, Nevada County Consolidated Fire Protection District and the Tahoe National Forest, Calfire said.

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