Update: Bullards Bar fire at 600 acres
Firefighters from agencies around Northern California converged below the dam at Bullards Bar to combat a fire that started in the canyon late Friday afternoon and quickly mushroomed to 600 acres.
As the blaze grew, vacationers were evacuated from campgrounds around the popular fishing and boating lake northwest of Grass Valley.
Moonshine Road, Marysville Road, Kelly Road and Oregon Hill Road were closed to traffic as of 9 p.m. Friday, and some houses along Moonshine Road were evacuated, national forest spokeswoman Kathy VanZuuk said.
The cause of the fire remains unknown; skies over the area were clear Friday, although dry lightening was feared in other areas of the Sierra Nevada.
Strike teams struggled with very steep terrain and dry vegetation on private and national forest land as the blaze grew from about 15 acres a half-mile south of the dam, at the southern end of the reservoir, at 5:30 p.m. to 600 acres by 9 p.m., said VanZuuk, based at the North Yuba District Ranger Station in Camptonville.
The Bullard Fire was burning on both sides of the Middle Yuba River, fed by the dam’s spillway, VanZuuk said.
“It’s still actively spreading,” VanZuuk added.
By evening, cooler air had calmed winds somewhat, but the blaze continued to march in a northwesterly direction toward the Plumas National Forest. It was burning on land in both the Plumas and Tahoe national forests, she added.
Multiple aircraft roared out of the airport at the Grass Valley Interagency Command Center just east of town.
Agencies including the North San Juan Volunteer Fire Department, Calfire, the United States Forest Service, Yuba County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and many other local fire agencies were responding with engines, helicopters and air tankers, forestry officials and Calfire dispatchers said.
Officials did not have an estimate of the number of people fighting the fire, VanZuuk said.
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