Sacto 9-1-1
July 1, 2013
UPDATE: El Dorado County fire contained, Highway 50 reopened

A wildland fire that shut down Highway 50 and knocked out power to thousands of Pacific Gas and Electric customers in El Dorado County late this afternoon has been fully contained.

Westbound Highway 50 through the Cameron Park/Shingle Springs area and one of the eastbound lanes reopened about 7 p.m. Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the right eastbound lane remained closed because firefighters were working along the roadway.

Approximately 49,000 Pacific Gas and Electric customers in El Dorado County were without power after the utility, at the request of fire officials, deactivated power lines in the area to eliminate hazards to firefighters. As of about 7:30 p.m., PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris reported that power had been restored to all but about 1,700 customers in the Cedar Grove and Pollock Pines areas. She said power was fully restored at 9:09 p.m.

The fire, which burned about 5 acres, started about 4 p.m. south of Highway 50 near Durock Road. Berlant said the cause of the fire is under investigation. He said power lines were down, but it has not been determined whether they sparked the fire or were downed by the fire.

Morris said that, contrary to earlier reports, the fire burned up to PG&E's Shingle Springs power substation, but the facility did not catch fire. Because of the fire, PG&E de-energized two transmission lines, resulting in power outages for customers in a large area of western El Dorado County.

Affected were about 14,000 customers in Shingle Springs, 10,500 in Diamond Springs, 10,000 in the Placerville area, 5,500 in the town of El Dorado and about 9,000 in the Apple Hill area.

The Cailfornia Highway Patrol shut down Highway 50 traffic in both directions between Cambridge and Ponderosa roads. Durock Road also was closed in both directions.

Berlant said no homes or businesses were evacuated due to the fire and no structures were damaged.

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