CDF responds to Truckee fire |

CDF responds to Truckee fire

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection personnel attacked its first Truckee-area wildland fire of the season, after lightning strikes hit a number trees in surrounding forests.

CDF personnel and one Washington Ridge Handcrew were flown in to the northwest section of Carpenter Valley to attack three trees that were on fire last Thursday.

Because it wouldn’t have been safe to take the trees down, fire crews constructed a hand line around the fire and left the trees standing. CDF Captain Dean Levonian said the trees would fall down inside the line and burn out. The helicopter also made bucket drops on the fire.

“This was an intense storm,” Levonian said, adding it was the most intense lightning storm he has seen in a few years. “We saw evidence that a ton of trees were hit by lightning. Had we not gotten the heavy rains, we would have gotten a lot of lightning-caused fires.”

The Carpenter Valley fire was contained by 6:30 p.m. that night, after personnel finished the hand line and reduced the fuels within the line.

Crews had to be transported to the fire by helicopter because the fire started in steep, inaccessible area of the valley.

Following the storm, which occurred last Monday night, CDF personnel scoped the area for fires from helicopters throughout the day Tuesday.

“We only spotted two fires,” Levonian said. One in Carpenter Valley, and one on U.S. Forest Service lands, west of Sattley. CDF personnel helped guide USFS crews to the fire.

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