Lobo Fire chews up acreage: Blaze located about 67 miles west of Truckee | SierraSun.com

Lobo Fire chews up acreage: Blaze located about 67 miles west of Truckee

A structure goes up in flames off of McCourtney Road where the McCourtney Fire burned up to 300 acres early Monday morning.
photo by John Hart |

A wind-fueled wildfire continued to chew up acreage on Tuesday, Oct. 10, and had damaged or destroyed dozens of structures in its path, authorities said.

The Lobo Fire stood at 880 acres as of Tuesday afternoon, and was 23 percent contained. The fire, which started late Sunday, Oct. 8, near Lake Wildwood, forced the evacuation of an estimated 8,000 people from Rough and Ready, and Lake Wildwood.

The evacuation order for Lake Wildwood has since been reduced to an advisory, and residents were allowed to reenter properties on Tuesday.

The fire, located about 67 miles west of Truckee in Nevada County, has destroyed between 30 and 40 structures in the past two days. The cause of the Lobo Fire has not been determined although strong wind played a role in fueling the blaze.

“It was wind driven,” said Mary Eldridge, a public information officer with Cal Fire.

“The wind was insane.”

A separate blaze, the McCourtney Fire, also started late Sunday or early Monday near the Nevada County Fairgrounds. The McCourtney Fire charred about 72 acres as of Tuesday afternoon, and was 60 percent contained.

Firefighters managed to stop the progression of the blaze on Monday. The cause of the McCourtney Fire has not been determined.

The fires damaged and destroyed structures at both sites. Cal Fire on Monday had no precise number for how many were affected.

Initial reports showed that one person was injured in one of the blazes, though officials had no specific information.

Eric Fredrickson, Superintendent of the Grass Valley School District, notified parents in a phone message Monday night that all schools and programs would be closed Tuesday due to the fires.

“Many of our staff have been displaced by the fires and I feel that our schools can not operate safely with limited personnel,” said Fredrickson in the message.

“Our thoughts are with our community members who are being affected by these fires.”

About 8,500 PG&E customers lost their power in 39 different outages. Affected areas included Grass Valley, Nevada City, North San Juan, Rough and Ready and Penn Valley, officials said Monday.

PG&E crews on Monday worked to make spots safe for first-responders. Officials said they haven’t yet determined the cause of all the outages, though electricity was cut from some areas by firefighter request.

The Lobo and McCourtney fires were among more than a dozen that started since Sunday in California, and have collectively burned in excess of 115,000 acres and killed a number of people.

The multiple fires led Gov. Jerry Brown to declare state of emergencies in many counties, including Mendocino, Nevada, and Sonoma.

Contact staff writer Wyatt Haupt Jr. at 530-550-2652 or via email at whaupt@sierrasun.com. Grass Valley Union staff writer Alan Riquelmy contributed to this report.

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