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Flames char 15 acres

Fifteen acres burned in a wind-driven wildfire caused by a downed power line Wednesday north of Lake Wildwood, which destroyed a barn, came close to a vacant home and cut power to 58 homes.

The fire was reported by a resident at 12:55 p.m. at Del Mar Way and Pleasant Valley Road, Calfire dispatchers said. Firefighters set to work fighting the main blaze, caused a power line knocked down by a fallen tree behind a vacant home on the 15000 block of Del Mar Way, Calfire Battalion Chief Rob Paulus said.

As firefighters put out the main fire, high winds sparked about six other spotfires in the area, Paulus said.



“We thought we had it headed off, we’d put out a spot fire, then we’d turn around and there would be another one,” Penn Valley Fire Protection District Chief Gene Vander Plaats said. “The wind changed about four to five times.”

Because the fire reached the road at Del Mar Way, the CHP closed the road to traffic during the blaze, Paulus said.




Firefighters dedicated the bulk of their efforts to protecting the vacant house on Del Mar Way, which is up for sale and does not have proper brush clearance, Paulus said.

“We had a challenging time,” Paulus said. “All the firefighters did great job containing it.”

A total of 50 firefighters responded from Calfire, Penn Valley Fire Protection District, Rough and Ready Fire Protection District, Higgins Area Fire Protection District, Grass Valley Fire Department, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District and Ophir Hill Fire Protection District, according to Calfire officials.

No structures other than the barn were burned, and the fire was contained at about 3 p.m., Vander Plaats said.

Deputies with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office arrived to the fire in case an evacuation had to be called, but no evacuations were ordered, Paulus said.

Power was cut to 58 residents along Pleasant Valley Road north of Lake Wildwood, Pacific Gas and Electric spokesman Paul Moreno said.

Pacific Gas & Electric personnel responded to repair the power lines at about 3:30 p.m. and predicted Wednesday afternoon they would have power restored in the area at about 7 p.m., Pulus reported from the scene.

To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail rmoormeister@theunion.com or call 477-4236.


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