Fire crews battling forest blaze north of Washington |

Fire crews battling forest blaze north of Washington

A forest fire about 2 miles north of the town of Washington was 10 percent contained Friday afternoon, and firefighters expected to have it fully contained by 11 p.m. today, Tahoe National Forest spokeswoman Ann Westling said.

A second crew from the Washington Ridge California Department of Corrections camp arrived to help cut dry brush in a line 3 to 9 feet wide around the fire.

Full containment means the line comes all the way around “to stop the spread of the fire,” Westling said.

Steep terrain on the south-facing slope of mountains falling to the South Fork Yuba River made it impossible to get heavy machinery into the area known as Holbrook Flat, Westling said.

The smoke is visible from Highway 20, across the deep, scenic river canyon.

An airplane pilot spotted smoke around 10 a.m., a dispatcher with the Grass Valley Interagency Command Center said.

The Forest Service has dispatched two engines, a water tender, a fire prevention patrol and, now, two crew from the Washington Ridge Camp to fight the blaze, making for a total of 40 to 50 firefighters, Westling said.

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