Crews put out 10-acre Tahoe National Forest fire Monday
January 29, 2014
GRASS VALLEY, Calif. — A vegetation fire that broke out in the Tahoe National Forest in a popular recreation area Monday morning west of Truckee was contained by firefighters.
The fire scorched about 10 acres of Tahoe National Forest land, according to forest service officials.
The blaze never crowned, or burned in the tall forest canopy; instead, it remained restricted to brush on the ground, said Yuba River District Ranger Karen Hayden.
About 70 firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire responded to the incident, located about a mile down Chalk Bluff Road near Highway 20, Hayden said.
Crews were scheduled to continue mop-up operations into Wednesday, Hayden said.
The location of the fire is in proximity to a dispersed camping area.
"It is looking like a leftover campfire," said Tahoe National Forest Fire Chief Jeanne Pincha-Tulley. "This year, more than ever, it is important that people put their fires out."
While the Sierra Foothills forecast calls for some much-needed rain beginning Wednesday and lasting through Friday, the forest service expects the total precipitation amount to be light and not enough to dispel the prominent fire danger that continues to threaten the region, Pincha-Tulley said.
"We were really lucky with this fire," she said. "We have recently experienced a series of three-day east wind events and if that was in place, we may very well have had a crown fire heading toward Cascade Shores and Greenhorn."
The forest service is in the process of hiring staff to bring levels up to what they would be during a normal fire season. Cal Fire has hired back seasonal workers, as much as 150, to deal with a fire season that never truly ended and won't unless a sustained period of precipitation comes to Northern California.