Air operations to restart this morning in Dangerous 'Sand' fire - 20% contained
Update: July 26, 2014 at 12:33 PM Fire is spotting a quarter mile ahead of itself. All tankers, including the VLAT, are on load and return - meaning they are flying to their assigned air base to refill their loads of retardant and fuel, then immediately return to the fire. Per air attack, the tankers will try to hold the fire at the top of the river canyon.
Update: 11:30 a.m., We are good with volunteers and donations for now at the EDC fairgrounds (except cat carriers). Try to keep entry way clear for fire crews. IF you MUST get to fairgrounds, PLEASE GO THROUGH YELLOW GATE BY DENNY'S!!! Bring cat carriers, Ali Em "Yes on carriers, please proceed through YELLOW GATE next to Denny's on Fair Lane."
Update 11:25 a.m., Vincent John LoFranco wrote, "Just rode from the dirt side of Sandridge and the visibility is decreasing rapidly. Smoke is coming this way fast. I went to Bucks Bar /Sandridge and spoke to the CHP officer. He said it is now a "hard" close, meaning nobody can come in or back in after you leave under ANY circumstances. He said they are expecting a wind change, which appears to have happened and they are readying for mandatory evacuations and want to keep Sandridge free of oncoming traffic."
CAL FIRE Update July 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM:
- Current Situation: Significant progress was made throughout the night. Triple digit temperatures predicted for this afternoon, as well as winds, low humidity, and steep terrain continue to elevate the fire behavior.
- Evacuations: Remain in effect for Sand Ridge Road to Morning Canyon, Bell Road, D'Agostini Road, Pertoni Road.
- Road Closures: Sand Ridge Road from Highway 49 to Ladies Valley Road, and Bell Road.
- Evacuation Centers: Red Cross has opened a center at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds.
Update: at 11:00a.m., Reported that the races at the speedway are cancelled tonight because of evacuations at the fairgrounds.
Update: at 10:50 a.m., If you have animals left BEHIND the evacuation line, you cant go get them. Please follow this process: A.S will be able to assist any animals left behind at residences. They can call the 621-5795 number. They will need to leave a mssg with address, what is needed and contact info.
Update: At 9:35 a.m., Air Attack ordered 2 Type-2 air tankers to join the 2 Type-3 air tankers ordered.
With over 500 ground crew members fighting the fire on the ground, air operations had to be stopped during the dark hours but are resuming this morning. Air operations are critical in this firefight as Tom Tinsley, spokesman for Cal Fire’s Amador-El Dorado Unit, said the fire was burning primarily in drainages along the county line, where access for firefighters was difficult. Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, which had assisted firefighters through the early evening, had to stop flying after dark, but Tolmachoff said grounds crews continued to fight the fire through the night.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection crews, along with firefighters from throughout the region, are battling the fast-moving 'Sands' fire that broke out in southern El Dorado County late Friday afternoon and quickly jumped the Cosumnes River into Amador County. Sgt. Jeff Leikauf of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said evacuations took place along Sand Ridge Road, east of Freshwater Lane. The El Dorado County Fairgrounds was opened to evacuees. Units from the Cosumnes Fire Department, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, Folsom Fire Department and Wilton Fire Department responded as part of a local government strike team from Sacramento County.
The fire broke out about 4:45 pm on Friday afternoon. It appeared to have started at, or near, the Gold Beach Mobile Home Park and unconfirmed reports indicated that it was started by a automobile. The cause being a Vehicle Fire was reported on KCRA. The cause of the fire is under investigation by officials.
10 mins later!
In the first 20 minutes it grew slowly to about 40 acres, but once the fire reached the steep and densely grown canyon draniages, the fire exploded to over a 1,000 acres in the next hour. The fire was burning in an area of grass, oaks and a few pine trees. People in the area reported periodic flashes of flames as trees ignited. The fire jumped to the Amador county side of the river causing a short panic among county leaders. Within less than four hours, it had grown to more than 1,300 acres and was spreading eastward, forcing evacuations in sparsely populated rural areas of both counties. Lynne Tolmachoff, a Cal Fire spokeswoman, said Friday night at least two structures had been destroyed. She did not know whether they were homes or outbuildings.
The blaze, dubbed the Sand fire, came within 200 yards of the Story Winery on Bell Road in Amador County before shifting direction. Roads were closed: "5:53 PM 8  PER FIRE SEVERAL ROAD CLOSURES NEEDED ******* ALL OF SANDRIDGE SHUT DOWN AND SR49 FROM THE RIVER."
At about 7:00 pm: "humidity today is only 16% in that area and there are surface winds. Mandatory Evacuations are underway on Sand Ridge Rd. Air crews advising flames are 200' high and rapid spread in all directions. They have huge resources enroute but this is a fire that will be very difficult to fight. Don't assume that this is just a vegetation fire and that the crews will have it contained tonight," wrote Mark Dayton.
A short time later, Sherrie Kreofsky-Anderson wrote, "it is not heading towards 49. It is heading up the hill towards Sandridge at Freshwater."
And Molly Isaacson wrote, "I was just on sand ridge road. This was about 30 minutes ago... As I drove back down the road to highway 49, they had already blocked off the road and we're evacuating everyone at the beginning of sandridge road. I must've counted at LEAST 40-50 fire trucks driving up there. Trucks from every county. Praying for those who live up there..."
Diana Wing Tryon observed, "EDSO is going from road to road, contacting/advising as many residents regarding evacuation. Bless these officers ... they are dealing with fast moving fire, smoke, and lots of traffic. They are going as fast as they can, and finally got some additional resources to make these evacuation notifications on both sides of the canyon. They have confirmed they have fire on both sides of the canyon ... but crowning and moving much faster on the northside. Prayers of safety and thanks going to all the men and women, on the ground and in the sky, working so hard to cut the head off this monster!!"
This timeline indicates the rapid expansion of the fire on the El Dorado County Sandridge road side:
7:07 PM 25  UPDATE SIGALERT HWY 49 IS CLOSED SB AT SAND RIDGE AND NB AT ED / AMA CO LINE. DUE TO A FIRE. THERE IS NO ESTIMATED TIME OF CLEARING.
7:24 PM 28  44-S3 NEEDS CLOSURE AT BUCKS BAR X SANDRIDGE ASAP - C44-004 CPZ
7:26 PM 29  44-S3 NOT SHUTTING DWN 49 JUST YET - SANDRIDGE BTWN 49 and BUCKS BAR WILL BE CLOSED - WILL ADV FURTHER
7:26 PM 30  [Notification] [CHP]-PER EDSO - NEW CLOSURE INFO : BUCKS BAR X SANDRIDGE //EVACUTING EVERYTHING JSO SANDRIDGE BTWN SANDRIDGE AND RIVER
Matt Nevieux said a DC9 just flew over. "Holds 3600 gallons of retardant"
8:22 PM 37  PER 44-S3 THIS FIRE WILL BURN FOR DAYS AND WILL NOT AFFECT SR49 / HARD CLOSURE FOR SAND RIDGE / AND CORDS NEEDS TO BE PREPARED TO SET UP FOR HARD CLOSURE LONG TERM
Pete Brown wrote, "Instead of 'running', the fire is described as 'backing' down the canyons....that's a slow burn, working against gravity. Even so, they expect a 'few' runs up canyons overnight, but on the whole, it should be laying down a lot more overnight. Tomorrow should be the big test."
Brad Getter added some good news- "per airco - 1150 acres - left flank is solid with retardant lines from heel to shoulder.. this is good for eldorado county folks. lets hope lines hold the night. this fire is in heavy fuel and rough terrain. it can change."
Pete Brown added this: "here's tanker 88 at a local winery on this fire."
The Amador County fair is currently happening and that is the normal staging area for civic emergencies. Suzon Hatley, a utility clerk with the city of Plymouth, said evacuations were in effect Friday night on a portion of Bell Road in Amador County. She was preparing to open City Hall at 9426 Main St. as an evacuation center when the Red Cross team en route to assist was diverted to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds instead, after the fire shifted direction. Hatley said City Hall would reopen to evacuees if necessary.
Tom Tinsley, spokesman for Cal Fire’s Amador-El Dorado Unit, said the fire’s rapid spread was not surprising. There have been three years of drought, it is late July, the humidity is low and the temperature in late afternoon was in the upper 90s, he said.
By about 9 p.m., Tinsley said the fire was holding in the 1,300-acre range. He said a helicopter crew was trying to map the boundaries of the fire. He estimated about 450 firefighters were on scene.
Darlene Ott of the town of El Dorado in El Dorado County was en route to Calaveras County with her husband when the fire broke out about 4:45 p.m. They stopped at the Story Winery, where she met Bill Cleek and David Roberts, owners of nearby Rancho Cicada Retreat.
Ott said they reported the loss of several outbuildings and classic cars at their 44-acre resort, where about 45 people were gathered for an event. The guests headed home and Cleek and Roberts, with the help of firefighters, evacuated their property with a 250-pound tortoise and several turtles in tow, Ott said. The men, who have operated the retreat for 45 years, told her their home had been spared.
In El Dorado County, the citizens acted quickly to help those involved. Within an hours, several groups of citizens had organized rescue operations for residents exacuating. Private citizens used thier own trucks to help fellow evacuees get out and get thier pets out. Help included removing horses and cattle.
The El Dorado County Fairgrounds has been set up as a staging area for evacuees. Private citizens have organized to feed the displaced residents.
Most recent update:
|Sand Incident Information:|
|Last Updated:||July 26, 2014 8:00 am|
|Date/Time Started:||July 25, 2014 4:34 pm|
|Administrative Unit:||Amador- Eldorado|
|Location:||East of Highway 49, 5 miles north of Plymouth|
|Acres Burned - Containment:||1300 Acres 20% Contained|
|Structures Destroyed:||5 residences and 7 outbuildings|
|Evacuations:||Sand Ridge Road, Fresh Water, Burlwood, Morales Ranch Road, Vintage Trail, Upton Road, Twin Rivers Road,|
|Road Closures :||Sand Ridge Road|
|Injuries:||1 minor injury|
|Total Fire Personnel:||672|
|Total Fire Engines:||53|
|Total Fire crews:||21|
|Total Water Tenders:||12|
|Phone Numbers||(530) 621-5789 (Incident Information)|