American Fire Closes some Local Roads near Foresthill
Tom Quinn, supervisor of the Tahoe National Forest, has signed an emergency closure order effective Aug. 16 for portions of National Forest System lands within and adjacent to the American Fire.
The temporary closure is designed to ensure public safety during current wildfire suppression efforts and ensuing rehabilitation activities.
The American Fire has burned 5,420 acres since it started Aug. 10. It is 35 percent contained.
The closure area includes:
• The area south of the Foresthill Divide Road starting at Deadwood Ridge Road to Forest Road 43 at Robinson Flat.
• Forest Road 43, which is closed to Forest Road 44 (Cavanah Ridge Road), which is closed, to Forest Road 96 (Mosquito Ridge Road).
• North along Mosquito Ridge Road west to Section 26, Township 14 North, Range 11 East, Mount Diablo Base and Meridian.
The Mosquito Ridge Road is open to public traffic.
Once the fire is suppressed, rehabilitation activities may include trail bridge repairs, hazard tree felling, and heavy equipment use on roads.
For more info, call (530) 367.2224.
The American fire is burning in heavy fuels, on very steep slopes. Access to the fire area is limited.
The heavy fuels are creating large amounts of smoke. Smoke is a significant issue for the Sierra Foothills, Tahoe area, and Sacramento Valley. An air quality warning has been issued for Placer county. Those planning to visit area campgrounds and other recreation sites may experience intermittent heavy smoke. Smoky conditions may last for several days.
Fire officials are establishing an incident base known as a spike camp in the Greek Store area off of Mosquito Ridge Road to enable easier access to the southeast end of the fire.
A 10,000 gallon water tank and a 10,000 gallon mobile retardant plant to aid with helicopter suppression operations has been established at the Blue Canyon Airport just south of Interstate 80.
The fire is located about 10 miles northeast of Foresthill in the Tahoe National Forest. The fire has burned across the North Fork Middle Fork American River and is burning both up and down the river drainage. The potential for fire growth is high due to the heavy fuels, steep slopes (up to 150 percent), predicted temperatures, and low humidities. One mining structure was destroyed and there have been two minor injuries todate.
The community of Foresthill is not threatened.
Fire Name: American
Location: Approximately 10 air miles northeast of Foresthill, CA in the Tahoe National Forest in a remote area with steep, rugged terrain.
Current Size: 4,958 acres Containment: 35 percent
Resources: Approximately 875 personnel including 31 hand crews, 22 engines, 7 water tenders, 6 helicopters, 5 dozers, and air tankers as available.
Start/Reported Date: 8/10/2013 in the afternoon and reported via the Duncan Peak Lookout Tower.
Cause: Under Investigation
· Full suppression efforts are in progress. Firefighter and public safety are the first priorities.
· Last night fire crews were able to take advantage of work accomplished over the last couple of days to substantially increase fire containment. Firefighters continue to make progress in establishing anchor points and improving lines.
· Two minor injuries were reported on the fire yesterday.
· The American Fire is continuing to burn in the Deadwood Ridge and Last Chance areas in the North Fork of the Middle Fork American River drainage. The fire is projected to be active on both the north and south ends, burning north up the drainage and south to the Grouse Creek Trail.
· The fire is burning in steep terrain in dense timber in an area that has not burned in several decades, which is contributing to the heavy smoke.
· The Forest, the timber industry, local agencies, and private landowners are collaborating to establish a strategy and tactics to minimize impacts on resources under contract, special uses under permit, and local communities.
· The Foresthill community is not threatened.
· Air quality is affected in a wide area surrounding the fire area. During the day, areas north and northeast of the fire are likely to experience higher smoke concentration while evening smoke inversions are expected to push smoke into areas downslope of the fire.People should take appropriate precautions concerning smoke. Several counties have issued air quality advisories.
· Those planning to visit the area may experience intermittent heavy smoke, especially in the late evening and early morning hours.
· People are being asked to stay out of the fire area for their own safety and the safety of firefighting personnel.