Tahoe Helitack jumps on Smartsville fire: Firefighters returning from Mendocino Complex come across local veg fire | TheUnion.com

Tahoe Helitack jumps on Smartsville fire: Firefighters returning from Mendocino Complex come across local veg fire

Tahoe National Forest Helitack firefighters returning from the Mendocino Complex came across a vegetation fire burning along Highway 20 at Steffen Trail near Smartsville Tuesday afternoon.

The ground crew, driving east along Highway 20, spotted the smoke and fire around 12:50 p.m. and called the fire in to dispatchers before engaging the fire with hand tools and chainsaws.

Nearby homes and mobile home units were briefly threatened as winds fanned the flames through light fuels and rolling oak woodlands.

Additional firefighters from Cal Fire, Loma Rica, Smartsville, Washington Ridge and Wheatland fire districts all responded to the fire, which was kept to 1.5 acres.

Cal Fire air attack and air tanker 88 from the Grass Valley air attack base also responded.

Forward progress of the fire was contained within a half hour and quick work from the firefighters on the ground prevented tanker 88 from having to make a fire retardant drop.

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Resources remained on scene for a couple of hours putting out hot spots and conducting mop up procedures.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email efunez@theunion.com, or call 530-477-4230.