Fire chars 15 acres on Boca Hill |

Fire chars 15 acres on Boca Hill

Josh MillerFirefighters dig a trench to prevent the flames from spreading during a wildland fire near Boca on Monday.

Firefighters from local, state and federal agencies battled a 15-acre wildfire burning up the southwest side of Boca Hill near Prosser Creek on Monday. Ten engines, one hand crew and one water tender – approximately 80 firefighters in all – responded to the wildfire, the cause of which is still under investigation.

The McCloud Fire, so named because of it’s proximity to the Annie McCloud campground, was first reported at 1:40 p.m. Monday by a number of people recreating in the Prosser Pits area as well as a few residents of the Prosser Lakeview neighborhood. Many callers assumed that the fire was a prescribed burn in the area and were surprised to learn that it wasn’t.

Fire investigators are still trying to figure out what started the fire. According to Fire Information Officer Deborah Urich of the U.S. Forest Service, there were no prescribed burns in the area and no reports of any lightning that may have sparked the fire.

Ground crews had the fire contained by 4 p.m. that day without the help of air tankers or helicopters. Conditions for fighting the fire were good, with cool temperatures and light winds. In addition, the fire cooperated by staying mostly on the ground, away from treetops.

“What this fire is doing is it’s mostly ground fire. It’s not getting up into the crowns of the trees,” Urich said.

Because the fire left most of the trees in the area with minimal damage, Fuels Specialist Kathy Murphy of the Truckee Ranger District said that the effects of the fire would likely be similar to what the Forest Service tries to accomplish with prescribed burns.

“With the conditions under which this fire burned, it’s actually a resource benefit because the trees are still there but the brush underneath burned,” she said.

Murphy also cited the quick response from all of the cooperating agencies in this area as a major reason crews were able to quickly control the fire.

Firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Truckee Fire Protection District, North Tahoe Fire Department, North Lake Tahoe Fire Department, Meeks Bay Fire Department and Squaw Valley Fire Department were involved in fighting the fire.

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