The fire that started Tuesday charged like a roaring freight train through largely inaccessible terrain before climbing out of a steep canyon along the middle fork of the American River early Wednesday.
Fox News is reporting that Placer County sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin says about 400 homes near Todd Valley between the cities of Foresthill and Auburn were evacuated as the fire quickly grew to 300 acres, but it has since doubled in size to over 650 acres, or about one square mile, threatening an additional 2,400 homes in the area.
The fire was considered to be about 5.0 percent contained earlier today, but fire activity has picked up, according to Daniel Berlant, spokesman for California’s fire protection agency. “We’re continuing to hit it with a lot of aircraft.”
After being forced to land due to a drone, aircraft are making drops on the TrailheadFire in Placer & El Dorado. dVmzzTXel3
— CAL FIRE PIO Berlant (@CALFIRE_PIO) June 29, 2016
Berlant was talking about hobby drones, a real menace to firefighters because they compete with firefighting aircraft for airspace, according to the Associated Press. There were delays of 30 minutes each on Tuesday and Wednesday as firefighting aircraft had to wait while hobbyists cleared their toys from the sky.
Almost a dozen big wildfires burning in California
As of Wednesday, nearly 4,000 firefighters were on the lines fighting nearly a dozen wildfires in California. The number of firefighters is actually down from the 5,200 firefighters on the lines last week as some of the larger fires are being contained.
Cal Fire has been on high alert since earlier this month because fires have been burning across the state nonstop. With hundreds of homes destroyed and two lives lost, the cost to the state in resources in fighting the wildfires has already risen to $15.8 million so far, according to the U.S. Forest Service, reports Patch.com.
“We usually don’t see [this many fires] until later in the summer,” Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynnette Round told Patch on Wednesday. “But we are in the fifth year of a drought…it’s just a recipe for disaster when you have high winds and high temperatures.”
Here’s the latest updates on the wildfires across the Southwest U.S. cawx azwx nmwx 9orIsvsn0C
— CNN Weather Center (@CNNweather) June 28, 2016
Bug Creek fire in Arizona almost 60 percent contained
Evacuation orders have been dropped for the Bug Creek fire in the Cordes Junction area. The fire, which started on Tuesday was 50 to 60 percent contained by Wednesday morning after 200 firefighters responded to the alarm. According to the Arizona Bureau of Land Management, the fire burned nearly 1,100 acres, disrupting traffic on Interstate 17 Northbound.
UPDATE: I-17 NB is 1 lane from Badger Springs to SR 69 for Bug Creek Fire. SB is open. Fire conditions could change. t2Q4P92shm
— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) June 29, 2016