July 3 update: Trailhead Fire burning west of Tahoe grows to nearly 4,000 acres | SierraSun.com

July 3 update: Trailhead Fire burning west of Tahoe grows to nearly 4,000 acres

Staff report
A fire fighter observes billowing smoke from the Trailhead Fire on Wednesday.
Courtesy Calfire |

Live updates

You can visit the Calfire incident information page on this fire at the following web address: calfireinformation.weebly.com/trailhead-fire-updates.html

Another website to follow for live updates is the InciWweb reporting system on the Trailhead Fire: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4825/

UPDATE: 9 a.m. Sunday, July 3:

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Trailhead Fire has grown to 3,936 acres in size and remains at only 12 percent containment, according to a Sunday morning update from Calfire.

Weather conditions Sunday are expected to be similar to Saturday, according to Calfire.

“Predictable conditions and the stable atmosphere is helping firefighters, with terrain-driven winds moving upslope, up canyon by mid-morning, and down slope, down canyon, by the evening,” officials said.

In all, 2,600 structures remain threatened in El Dorado and Placer counties, although no homes have yet been damaged.

Mandatory evacuations remain in place for several neighborhoods in El Dorado County.

The fire is burning around the community of Volcanoville and other areas. Volcanoville is roughly an hour and a half drive from Truckee; as the crow flies, it’s roughly an hour west of Lake Tahoe.

The Tahoe region is not in any danger from the fire.

The original story string is below:

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UPDATE: 10 a.m. Saturday, July 2:

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Trailhead Fire has now ballooned to 3,218 acres and remains only 12 percent contained as of Saturday morning, according to Calfire.

The fire is burning around the community of Foresthill and other areas.

Foresthill is roughly an hour and a half drive from Truckee; as the crow flies, it’s roughly an hour west of Lake Tahoe.

The Tahoe region is not in any danger from the fire.

“As of 6am this morning, no structures have been damaged or destroyed by the Trailhead Fire. On the Placer County side, crews were able to complete and strengthen lines to prevent fire spread up Peachstone Gulch, and contingency lines are in place to protect the community of Todd Valley,” officials said in a statement Saturday. “… Firefighters made good progress (Friday) night conducting defensive firing operations in the area west of Volcanoville toward Buckeye Point to protect the community as the active fire front approaches containment lines.

“Hot, dry conditions, and difficult terrain challenge firefighters, and crews anticipate another busy shift.”

The community of Volcanoville, and the surrounding area, remains under a mandatory evacuation order to protect public and firefighter safety, according to Calfire.

The original story string is below.

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UPDATE: 8 a.m. Friday, July 1

TRUCKEE, Calif. — As of Friday, July 1, at 7:15 a.m., the Trailhead Fire has grown to 2,151 acres, according to Calfire, while containment remains at just 12 percent.

The number of personnel fighting the blaze that’s burning an hour or so west of Truckee and Lake Tahoe is up to 1,992, according to Calfire. In all, 2,600 structures remain threatened.

“The fire became more active (Thursday) as the inversion lifted at approximately 1pm,” according to Calfire’s Frida morning update. “Crews made good progress on the Placer side of the fire … completing direct line across the west and northwestern edges of the fire. They also completed contingency lines and will continue to plan for (contingencies) and community protection on both the north and south sides of the fire.

“Fire crossed the line south and west of Ford’s Bar, and firefighters began constructing indirect line down the New Orleans Creek drainage to the east toward Bottle Hill on the south.”

Further, aircraft assigned to the Trailhead Fire also supported the suppression of two new fires; one three miles west of the Georgetown Incident Command Post, and another roadside start in the Foresthill area, near Lake Clementine. Both starts were contained quickly.

The original story string from June 30 is below:

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FORESTHILL, Calif. — Nearly 2,000 fire-fighting personnel are battling the Trailhead Fire that continues to scorch hundreds of acres of land west of Lake Tahoe.

According to Califre, the blaze that’s burning in the community of Foresthill in Placer and El Dorado counties has grown to 1,264 acres as of 7 a.m. Thursday, and is now 12% contained.

It’s currently burning along the Middle Fork of the American River near Todd Valley. An estimated 2,600 structures were threatened by the blaze, and smoke from it began to filter over Donner Summit and into the Truckee area Wednesday afternoon.

Foresthill is roughly an hour and a half drive from Truckee; as the crow flies, it’s roughly an hour west of Lake Tahoe.

The Tahoe region is not in any danger from the fire.

“… Fire crews worked throughout the day (Wednesday) to construct control lines around the fire. Heavy use of aircraft including air tankers, helicopters and air attack command and control aircraft helped in keeping the fire to approximately 1,000 acres,” according to Calfire. “Firefighting personnel were able to make progress in limiting further spread on the Foresthill side of the river.”

As of Thursday more than 1,900 fire fighters are battling the blaze; 123 engines, 22 water tenders, 22 dozers 8 air tankers and 4 helicopters are being used.

Both the Placer and El Dorado County Sheriff’s Departments have imposed additional mandatory evacuation zones throughout the Foresthill area in an effort to protect residents in advance of potential fire danger, according to Calfire.

“The fire is now burning south of Otter Creek, which is what prompted evacuations in El Dorado County,” according to Calfire’s Thursday morning update.

An evacuation center is located at the Gold Country Fair Grounds, Sierra Building, 1273 High St., Auburn, for residents of Placer County.

The cause of the fire — which started June 28 — is not known. Investigators are asking for the public’s help for any information about how the fire started.

While the area is very remote, it is often frequented by rafters, according to Calfire.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Calfire Arson Tip Line at 800-468-4408.