By Loretta Kalb
The Robbers fire, which has consumed one home and three outbuildings in Placer County, has grown to 2,250 acres but remains 20 percent contained, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported today.
Nearly 2,000 firefighters from San Diego to Siskiyou County are battling the blaze, which is burning in areas that are remote, steep and overgrown with heavy brush and timber.
"Every afternoon when the temperatures heat up and get to their peak, the fire becomes very active," Berlant said. "That's when we see it making its run through some of these steep areas."
Berlant said the firefighters are working hard to overcome the blaze "because there is so much potential for this fire to grow."
The firefighters have kept pace with containment, achieving 20 percent on Saturday.
Still threatened is a small community known as Brush Creek, with a few dozen homes, Berlant said.
"The firefighters have been working very hard to hold it away from those homes and do structure defense in that area."
Temperatures this afternoon are expected to reach around 90 degrees. Berlant said he expects the fire to pick up again this afternoon as winds strengthen, pushing the fire to the north and northeast.
The Robbers fire gained its name from a turnout in the road overlooking the North Fork of the American River.
The site is known to local history buffs as Robbers' Roost because it became a lookout for stage coach robberies in gold rush days.
The fire, about three miles northwest of Foresthill, is burning in the Yankee Jims canyon area, which includes Brush Creek Canyon.
Homes off the Yankee Jims Canyon and parts of Iowa Hill have been under evacuation orders. A Red Cross evacuation center was opened in the Foresthill High School gym.
The fire is not threatening Foresthill or Colfax, Berlant said.
The blaze started at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The cause is under investigation.
A separate fire that has burned 27,122 acres of the Mendocino National Forest is now 60 percent contained, said Deb Schweizer, public information officer for the federal incident management team.
The Mill fire is near Stonyford in Colusa County and is moving in the direction of Willows and Ukiah. But Schweizer said the fire "is starting to wrap up. We're putting in the last line of control."
Some 1,700 firefighters have been battling the blaze, which began July 7. The cause is under investigation.
The Mill fire was so named because it began next to the Mill Creek Campgrounds.
Call The Bee's Loretta kalb, (916) 321-1073.