River Fire evacuations remain in effect | TheUnion.com

River Fire evacuations remain in effect

The River Fire, which began Wednesday off Milk Ranch and Bear River Campground roads, had burned 2,400 acres and was zero percent contained as of Thursday afternoon.

As of that time, according to Cal Fire, 30 damaged structures and 50 destroyed structures had been confirmed.

A Cal Fire update earlier Thursday afternoon estimated that 3,400 structures were threatened.

Unit Chief Brian Estes, with Cal Fire, said in a press briefing Thursday morning that damage assessment was ongoing at that time, but that some of the structures known to have been damaged or destroyed were located in the Mount Olive Road area, along Highway 174; just to the northeast of the Bear River Campground; and “possibly off of the Dog Bar area and the area of Oxnard.”

Evacuations were ordered in both Nevada and Placer counties, applying to 4,298 Nevada County residents, with an additional 5,375 county residents under an evacuation warning as of Thursday morning, according to the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services.

The evacuation order and warning zones shared by the county Office of Emergency Services as of Wednesday night had not changed as of around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the Ready Nevada County Dashboard.

The Sheriff’s Offices of both Nevada and Placer counties issued reminders Thursday afternoon that evacuated areas remained under their evacuation orders.

“Once it is safe to return home, we will share the information on social media, through CodeRED calls and, of course, as a notification on the Sheriff App,” wrote the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office in a Facebook post Thursday.


The Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District issued air quality health advisories for Nevada, Plumas and Sierra counties Thursday morning, alongside the Public Health departments of each of the three counties.

As long as numerous wildfires, including the Dixie Fire and River Fire, remained active, poor and possibly hazardous air quality due to prolonged and widespread smoke was expected to persist, according to the advisory.

“Smoke density and location will vary greatly, depending on fire behavior and weather conditions, with smoke settling in low areas at night,” the advisory stated. “A change in wind direction over the next 24-48 hours will likely bring widespread smoke impacts throughout the district.”

The district recommended that those smelling or seeing smoke around them minimize outdoor activities, keeping doors and windows closed and air conditioners set to “recirculate” whenever possible; contact their doctor if experiencing symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe fatigue; and stay hydrated in addition to avoiding additional smoke, such as from cigarettes or barbecues.

People with asthma should follow their asthma management plan, and people with heart disease, respiratory conditions or chronic health issues should stay indoors, per the advisory.

Bear Yuba Land Trust also shared a trail advisory through their social media accounts Thursday afternoon, stating that some of their trails and preserves were closed due to the River Fire.

The closed trails, according to Bear Yuba Land Trust as of around 2 p.m. Thursday, were the Alan Theisen and Rambler Trails, located near Alta Sierra; the Rattlesnake Trail built along Rattlesnake Road off Highway 174; and the Narrow Gauge Trail in the Chicago Park area. Also closed were the Adam Ryan, Mathis Pond, and Clover Valley Preserves.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com

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