Officials: Dry conditions lead to 2 ditch fires |

Officials: Dry conditions lead to 2 ditch fires

Volunteer firefighters near North San Juan and Camptonville attest that two Saturday fires along Highway 49 are a testament to dry conditions facing Nevada County.

Volunteer fire fighters responded to the two fires around 3 p.m. Saturday between Peterson’s Corner and North San Juan, said Engineer Christoffer Montelius with the latter department.

The two fires were about 100 feet apart and contained at less than one acre total size.

Officials with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection also provided support with Battalion 2314 as incident commander and a hand crew from Washington Ridge.

The cause of the fire might have been a broken exhaust system from a car, Montelius noted.

Since the beginning of the year, Cal Fire has responded to more than 680 wildfires, which is more than 200 above the average for this time of year, according to an April 24 news release.

In late March, the Department of Water Resources conducted this year’s next-to-last snow survey, and the low levels have Cal Fire concerned about the impact on this year’s fire season, the release states.

This final survey found that snowpack is just 52 percent of average statewide, according to the Department of Water Resources. Due to the low rainfall levels across the state from January to April, this year is likely to go down as one of the driest ever.

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