Bridgeport fire torches about an acre: California fire season far from over | TheUnion.com

Bridgeport fire torches about an acre: California fire season far from over

A small fire claimed just under an acre of vegetation near Bridgeport on Pleasant Valley Road Friday afternoon after 1 p.m.

The blaze was quickly quashed through efforts by Cal Fire, Penn Valley Fire, North San Juan Fire, Smartsville, Grass Valley and Nevada County Consolidated.

Steve Robinson, incident commander and battalion chief with Cal Fire said it was a hard, aggressive fight that made quick work of the blaze which was kept to the south side of Pleasant Valley Road.

Swift response and tactical fire retardant drops from Grass Valley air tankers 88 and 89 helped to keep the flames from moving uphill.

"The winds weren't blowing and we were able to hold it on the downhill side of the road," said Robinson. "It would be a different story if it was on (the uphill) side of the road. Fire likes to burn uphill so the wind was pushing it up the hill so if it came across the road, it would just keep going up."

Pleasant Valley Road was closed between Bridgeport and Troost Trail.

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The cause of the Bridgeport incident was still under investigation, though Cal Fire Fire Prevention Officer Mike Rufenacht didn't rule out passing vehicles as a cause.

Though not a fire of significant size, Friday's incident served as a reminder that fire season is far from over in California.

Hannah Chandler, a meterologist with the National Weather Service, said the weekend will be hot and gusts are expected to pick up through the Sierra, potentially reaching speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour. As of Friday afternoon no red flag warnings were in place but winds may affect fires currently burning.

"The heat is really normal for this time of year," said Chandler. "It's summer, it's California, it's going to be hot and dry."

Meanwhile, crews are still working on the North Fire, currently burning about nine miles northeast of Alta. About 1,274 acres have burned since the fire started on Monday and containment as of Friday afternoon was reported at 43 percent.

The cause of the North Fire is still under investigation.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com or 530-477-4231.

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