UPDATE: Jones Fire remains at 705 acres, 65% contained
Special to the Sierra Sun
UPDATE AUGUST 24 7:46 A.M.:
The Jones Fire in Nevada County is reported to be 705 acres and 65% contained as of Monday, August 24.
UPDATE AUGUST 20:
The Nevada County Offices of Emergency Services reports the Jones Fire is 10% contained as of 8 a.m. August 20.
In the third day of fighting the Jones Fire, fire and law enforcement personnel from Nevada County and beyond are working to ensure residents don’t have to evacuate twice.
In an update during a town hall hosted by YubaNet Wednesday morning, Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Chief Brian Estes said it’s one of the primary considerations as incident commanders assess ongoing evacuation warnings and orders. He said the Sheriff’s Office makes the decision to reduce or eliminate an area’s evacuation status once the degree of threat from fire as well as after effects, including damages to roads or power lines, have been determined.
“(The Jones Fire) is a priority to the state of California and coordinating groups, and the reason for that is the continued threat of the fire to communities, both incorporated and non-incorporated, in Nevada County,” said Estes.
The Jones Fire, which has been burning since early Monday, had scorched 705 acres and was 5% contained as of Wednesday evening, the county Office of Emergency Services stated. Four structures are reported to have been destroyed.
The Woolman School, whose campus is called Sierra Friends Center, has lost structures to the fire.
In an update on the school’s website, Interim Executive Director Marty Coleman-Hunt said Wednesday that the school’s Cedar House, Madrone Hall, some cabins and farm buildings, and an uninhabited trailer were lost. She added, however, that the center’s main buildings were unharmed.
According to Coleman-Hunt’s post, strike teams and two water tankers worked to save the campus’ buildings.
Coleman-Hunt couldn’t be reached for comment.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning to last until 9 a.m. today for Nevada County, indicating that there is some combination of strong winds, high temperatures, low humidity levels, dry fuels, and possibility of dry lightning.
The Ready Nevada County online dashboard has been updated to show the areas under the Red Flag Warning as of Wednesday. Not to be confused with the immediate evacuation orders, which are indicated in dark pink, the Red Flag Warning area appears in light pink and includes several counties throughout northeastern California.
According to the forecast for western Nevada County, daily highs are expected to decrease slightly beginning today, remaining in the low 90s through Sunday.
RESOURCES, HOW TO HELP
“It’s an amazing community we live in that so many people evacuated and so many are asking how to help,” said Rachel Roos, Nevada County’s director of Social Services, during Wednesday’s town hall.
According to Roos, due to the constraints associated with the pandemic in receiving volunteers and donated items, recommended ways to help those affected are to donate to the American Red Cross or contribute to the efforts of local animal organizations.
“We’re looking to help people identify where they can go,” said Roos, adding that the Red Cross is finding shelter in hotels for displaced residents. As of Wednesday morning, there were 89 Nevada County residents sheltered in hotels by the Red Cross and many more had used the temporary evacuation centers, according to Roos.
Wednesday afternoon, Magnolia Intermediate School, 22431 Kingston Lane, Grass Valley, replaced Cottage Hill Elementary as a temporary evacuation point, according to an update from the Office of Emergency Services.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer with The Union, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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