Lobo, McCourtney fires continue to burn in Nevada County; thousands without power | SierraSun.com
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Lobo, McCourtney fires continue to burn in Nevada County; thousands without power

A Coulson C-130Q air tanker makes a long low drop of fire retardant onto the vegetation of a meadow off of Bitney Springs Road in efforts to slow the progress of the Lobo Fire as it makes its way away from Lake Wildwood Monday afternoon.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com |

The Lobo Fire had grown to 900 acres by Monday evening, and damaged or destroyed between 30 to 40 structures, Cal Fire said.

The fire, which began late Sunday near Lake Wildwood, forced the evacuation of an estimated 8,000 people from Rough and Ready and Lake Wildwood. It was 10 percent contained Monday evening, officials said.

“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 began late Sunday or early Monday. Near the Nevada County Fairgrounds, the McCourtney Fire reached about 150 acres. Firefighters have stopped its forward progression and it was 10 percent contained Monday evening, authorities said.

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

Initial reports show 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 will be closed today 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,” Fredrickson said in the message. “Our thoughts are with our community members who are being effected by these fires.”

About 8,500 PG&E customers lost their power in 39 different outages. Affected areas include Grass Valley, Nevada City, North San Juan, Rough and Ready and Penn Valley — the last of which had the most people without power at 5,203, officials said.

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.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


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