Fire near Glenshire burns 40 acres |

Fire near Glenshire burns 40 acres

Nearly 40 acres of brush and timber burned in a Sunday afternoon blaze that fire officials said could have been much worse if the winds hadn’t died down.

At 2:17 p.m., the fire started in Glenshire on the border of the Juniper Hills development. Deputy Fire Chief Mike Terwilliger said the fire started 300 yards behind his home. He said he saw the fire begin and within three minutes it had spread one to two acres, already burning the trees’ crowns.

He said he immediately reported the fire and called the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection dispatch in Grass Valley for air attack planes, heavy equipment and engines.

“The wind was blowing hard when the fire first started and I wasn’t sure what it was going to do,” he said.

He added that within minutes the fire began long-range spotting, which started fires 300 to 400 yards ahead of the core of the fire.

“In 30 minutes, the fire had gone from two to 20 acres,” he said.

A unified camp command was established with CDF and Truckee Fire Protection District and two strike teams with five engines each responded from local agencies. Teams came from as far as Donner Summit and the Tahoe Valley.

In addition to the strike teams and the five TFPD engines, there were five CDF engines, three CDF handcrews, two CDF bulldozers, three CDF air tankers and one CDF helicopter. Nearly 100 personnel from the agencies were on hand to combat the fire, which was determined contained at 5:30 p.m. that afternoon. TFPD remained on scene until noon on Tuesday.

Terwilliger said the Town of Truckee’s contract with CDF for wildland fire protection enabled the quick response by the agency. He said the fire cost about $100,000 to suppress.

The investigation into the origin of the fire left the cause undetermined, but it is suspected that foul play, possibly involving minors, was to blame. Terwilliger said this isn’t the first time there has been a fire in that area and there have been problems with children playing with matches there in the past.

Fire officials said although they appreciated the good intentions of helpful citizens in the area, they said there could have been serious problems with residents, who may have been caught in the fire or overcome with smoke.

“We really worried about the citizens trying to help,” Terwilliger said. “It would have been tragic if someone got hurt.”

He also said no evacuation of homes or road closures were necessary.

“I know residents wanted to know what was going on,” he said. “All I can say is if you don’t hear from us than don’t worry. We will promptly notify any residents and homeowner associations if there are any threats to homes.”

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