Peterson’s Corner suffered losses but spared brunt of Pleasant Fire |

Peterson’s Corner suffered losses but spared brunt of Pleasant Fire

The remains of a burned vehicle sit near Peterson's Corner, which was spared the flames of the Pleasant Fire which began near this location Aug. 30. Peterson's corner is open despite a lull in business due to the fire as well as paving work along Highway 49 from the winter rains.
Elias Funez/ |

Peterson’s Corner, a family restaurant on Highway 49 near North San Juan, closed early Aug. 30 when a fire started nearby on Pleasant Road and began spreading quickly.

Flames came close to the establishment at the onset of the fire, but favorable wind conditions diverted the blaze away from the restaurant.

Manager Shelline Martines said she returned to the restaurant later in the evening Aug. 30 to serve a few drinks and check on the damage.

“I touched the building and it was still hot,” she said.

Peterson’s Corner was closed the following day, when evacuation orders were in effect for many nearby residents, but it reopened a day later.

The restaurant had no water or phone service and its credit card machine was down in the days following the onset of the Pleasant Fire, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost profits, Martines estimates.

But customers soon began streaming in, some sharing stories about their evacuation experiences and others curious for details.

“We have fires every year here,” Martines said. “Most people have things set aside, ready to take with them during an evacuation. It’s a part of life out here.”

Martines said business has been tough at Peterson’s Corner this year due to an extremely wet winter and road work on Highway 49. The restaurant, owned by Patricia Dunne, is currently on the market, Martines said.

An investigation into the cause of the Pleasant Fire, which burned 392 acres, is still ongoing, according to Cal Fire.

No leads are actively being pursued, said Mary Eldridge, a public information officer for Cal Fire’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer unit, but “there’s still plenty of opportunity for witnesses to come forward.”

The fire destroyed one structure and damaged another before it was fully contained on Sept. 5.

According to Eldridge, a dozer operator was injured during an initial attack. He was treated for smoke inhalation and released, she said. No other injuries occurred.

“I’m impressed,” Eldridge said, noting that the fire was contained quickly and firefighters were able to protect numerous threatened structures.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email or call 530-477-4231.

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