Update: Bullard Fire: 20% contained, 900 acres | TheUnion.com

Update: Bullard Fire: 20% contained, 900 acres

Liz Kellar and Trina Kleist
Staff Writers

Cool, humid weather helped nearly 1,300 firefighters make “great progress overnight” with 20 percent containment of the Bullards Fire, which grew to 900 acres by Sunday morning.

All evacuations have been lifted.

They continued to build fire breaks Sunday in an effort to contain the fire, which slowed considerably in its march through the North Yuba River drainage at the southern end of Bullards Bar, in Yuba County northwest of Grass Valley.

Good progress was made yesterday and last night for line construction, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Ann Westling. A spot fire across the Middle Yuba River has been contained. Evacuations have been lifted, but the area is open to residents only.

As of noon Sunday, road closures were still in effect at Oregon Hill Rd from Moran to Marysville roads; and Marysville Road from Merriam to Moonshine roads. Moran Road is closed to all but residents. Moonshine Road is open.

Boat owners whose boats were left at Bullards Bar Reservoir can contact the Yuba County Sheriff for escort into the area to pick up their boat; they can call 749-7777 to set up an escort.

Resources attacking the fire include 45 hand crews, 10 helicopters, 73 engines, 19 bulldozers and 14 water tenders for a total of 1,274 people battling the blaze at the popular recreational lake in rocky, steep and brush-choked terrain.

Crews plan to continue building and reinforcing line today. Hotshot crews will continue to build line into the very steep North Yuba River canyon, with the goal of keeping the fire north of the Middle Fork Yuba River; they also will be working to keep the fire south of Burnt Bridge Creek, north of the old Dobbins burn, and east of Oregon Hill Road. A spot fire across the Middle Yuba River was contained.

One injury – a broken foot – has been confirmed, but it was not known whether the injured person was a firefighter or how the injury occurred, incident spokesman Larry Schmidt said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Yuba County Saturday. The proclamation came after Yuba County officials declared a local state of emergency. It will allow agencies to receive some reimbursement of the costs associated with fighting the fire.

No cause has been determined for the fire that began about 4 p.m. Friday in the canyon North Yuba canyon southwest of the dam. The fire is burning in the Tahoe and Plumas national forests.

Agencies responding include the North San Juan Volunteer Fire Department, crews from Dobbins-Oregon House, Camptonville and Linda, and the United States Forest Service, Calfire, Yuba County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., state Department of Corrections, and private contractors.

On Saturday, the fire continued to spot and back down toward Oregon Hill Road along the western edge of the reservoir.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, e-mail lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.

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