Sleeping bags found at Dorsey Drive fire in Grass Valley |

Sleeping bags found at Dorsey Drive fire in Grass Valley

Firefighters quickly put out a small wildfire Tuesday night near the Dorsey Drive Interchange Project.

The incident was first reported just after 6:30 p.m., and it took firefighters just a few minutes to get the blaze knocked down and under control. Roughly a quarter acre burned, and units remained on scene for a few hours to get the fire completely mopped up.

According to Terry McMahan, deputy fire marshal for Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, sleeping bags were found at the scene of the incident.

“It was probably a transient camp, we found some sleeping bags there,” McMahan said Wednesday afternoon. “It was in pretty heavy brush, like manzanita.”

Officers with the Grass Valley Police Department say that due to a history of homeless encampments nearby, they regularly patrol the area and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

“It used to be a spot where there were transient encampments, but recently it has not been active through the summer months,” said Lt. Alex Gammelgard. “That’s not to say that it’s impossible that the fire was caused by an individual in the area.”

McMahan said he was not positive about the origin of Tuesday night’s fire. There are, however, growing concerns about camp fires as the autumn weather starts cooling off.

“As it gets cooler, they’re apt to start warming fires,” McMahan said. “That’s going to be a concern, because it’s still really dry out there.”

Despite increasing humidity and recent precipitation, underbrush may still be dry enough for fires to spread.

“The fuel moistures haven’t recovered,” McMahan said Wednesday. “There wasn’t enough rain. It’s going to take some time for that to occur.”

To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email or call 530-477-4230.

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