Sacto 9-1-1
July 12, 2012
UPDATE: Officials call for additional resources as fire spreads near Foresthill

RP ROBBERS FIRE YANKEE JIM'SB.jpgHigh temperatures today worked against fire crews battling the Robbers Fire northwest of Foresthill in Placer County.

The California Department or Forestry and Fire Protection reports that the fire has burned at least 700 acres and is 10 percent contained. Earlier today it had been reported 20 percent contained at 317 acres.

CalFire officials announced late this afternoon that additional evacuations for about 30 homes were in progress on Spring Garden Road, Pine Grove, Log Cabin Lane, Pine Mountain Road, Small Hope Mine Lane and Owl Creek Road.

In all, 80 homes were reported threatened and about 300 people had been ordered to evacuate.

By 1:45 p.m. more than 1,000 firefighters had been called in to battle the blaze, state fire officials said, and as fire activity picked up, additional resources were requested from as far away as Southern California.

About 200 people attended a community meeting this evening at the evacuation center at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Foresthill to receive an update from fire officials. The biggest question was the safety of their homes.

Firefighters had worried earlier that the fire might jump the American River and head west, putting parts of the more-populated town of Colfax in jeopardy. As of this evening, however, it was reported moving to the southeast and northeast.

"Our concern is the possibility of it getting in the American River canyon and jumping the river," said Brice Bennett, a CalFire spokesman. "That would give it the potential to go to Colfax."

With concerns growing that the fire could continue to spread, the number of firefighters on the scene jumped to more than 1,000 today. The smoke was lifting, giving firefighters a better view of it from the air, but an up-canyon wind along with hot temperatures and low humidity worked against firefighters.

By midafternoon today, CalFire had put six air tankers and five helicopters into service.

"Weather is not in our favor on this fire," Bennett said.

The fire, which began about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, is burning in rugged terrain east of the north fork of the American River. It is burning on the Foresthill side of the river, moving toward Iowa Hill.

CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant said the fire was expected to cool down some tonight, but firefighters are bracing for another day of potentially unfavorable conditions Friday.

For evacuation-related information, call the Placer County Office of Emergency Services at (530) 886-5310. For fire information, phone CalFire's Auburn call center, (530) 823-4083.

Photo Caption: Two Cal Fire captains confer while a fire burns on a steep hillside near Yankee Jim's Road in Placer County next to the North Fork of the American River. Firefighter's are hoping to keep the fire contained to the east side of the river on Thursday. Photo by Randy Pench / rpench@sacbee.com

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