Rocklin fire sparks two more blazes, destroys homes |

Rocklin fire sparks two more blazes, destroys homes

The Associated Press and The Union staff

ROCKLIN – At least six structures were burned, including three homes, in a fast-moving brush fire east of Sacramento Wednesday, officials said.

Several residents left their homes, and one school was evacuated, said officials with the Rocklin Fire Department. None of the children or school employees was injured.

Air tankers based at the Grass Valley Air Attack Base dropped retardant on the blaze. Also, two Nevada County strike teams drove 10 engines down to the fire, Battalion Chief Frank Rowe of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

An evacuation center was set up for those who left their homes, officials said.

The blaze started at about 2:50 p.m. south of Interstate 80, at the intersection with Sierra College Boulevard in Rocklin.

High winds fanned the flames, said Tina Rose, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Several air tankers fought the blaze, which was between 500 and 600 acres, and many farmers gathered their livestock, she said.

There was no estimate of when the fire would be contained, Rose said.

The high winds blew embers, which then sparked other fires in the Rocklin and Loomis area, officials said.

The blaze had ”broken into three different fires,” said Russell Hildebrand, public information officer for the Rocklin Fire Department. ”Two are in south Placer County, one in Rocklin, which is contained. The other two are still moving.”

The gusty winds were driving those fires south toward Roseville and the upscale enclave of Granite Bay, Hildebrand said. The head of the fire was in a rural area and it looked ”like they’re going to be able to contain it there,” he said.

Those winds were expected to slow during the evening, he said.

”They’re fighting some really tough conditions right now,” said CDF spokeswoman Karen Terrill. ”It is still extremely windy in that area, so they’re busy. That’s pretty typical of this time of year. If you look at the history of California, our worst fires quite often are at end of fire season. Winds are more likely to be gusty.”

– The Union staff

contributed to this story.

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