The blaze, nearly 70 miles northeast of Sacramento, near the South Yuba River State Park in Nevada, California, covered more than 900 acres in two days, ordering the evacuation of hundreds of residents from nearby communities. Thursday.
According to the National Interdepartmental Fire Center, the so-called Rice fire is one of more than 50 large forest fires and complexes that have burned in some parts of the United States this year. The center said the fires burned more than two million acres in 12 states.
In the western United States, forest fires are on the rise and intensify, and their seasons are getting longer. Recent research shows that the heat and dryness associated with climate change are factors that lead to an increase in larger and more intense fires.
According to authorities, Rice started the fire in a structure on Tuesday at 14:00. On Thursday afternoon, it was about 12 percent and threatened 250 structures, they said.
According to the abbreviated Cal Fire for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, more than 370 firefighters are working to put out the blaze, and seven of them were injured. Mary Eldric, a spokeswoman for the agency’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer unit, said the injuries were heat-related, but firefighters later recovered and returned to the line of fire.
“Climbing on a rock without shade in the direct heat of the sun; It’s really hard to keep it moist, ”he said, adding that the fire burned along a steep cliff that encircles the Yuba River, making it extremely difficult to access.
On Thursday, planes poured water into the hottest parts of the fire to put it out, Ms Eldric said, adding that authorities were considering whether firefighters could descend down the ravine to put out some of the most difficult fires. access areas.
Together with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office, Cal Fire’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit is leading efforts to put out the fire.
Cal Fire said in a statement that winds from east to southwest are expected on Thursday, with winds of up to 20 miles per hour causing smoke and reduced visibility on the ground. was released at 7 p.m.
Temperatures have dropped and humidity has risen since Wednesday, helping firefighters put out the hot areas of the fire and build and improve security lines using hand tools and bulldozers, Cal Fire said, aiming to prevent the fire from entering the neighboring state of Yuba. .
Nevada County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Trygg said he hopes some residents will be able to return home by Thursday evening. However, he added: “We need to make sure that it is safe for everyone to return and that they will not have to evacuate again.”
Cal Fire spokeswoman Eldric said authorities hoped to put out the blaze by Sunday, but that would depend on winds and the heat generated by the fire, as well as the ability of firefighters to get inside. “almost impossible” place.
He added: “We are cautiously optimistic.”