Sacto 9-1-1
August 14, 2013
American Fire burning near Foresthill grows to more than 3,000 acres

By Janelle Bitker

The fire north of Foresthill grew from about 1,900 acres to 3,050 acres overnight. Firefighters said Wednesday morning the blaze is now 5 percent contained.

The American Fire in Placer County, which started about 4:30 p.m. Saturday on Deadwood Ridge about 17 miles northeast of Foresthill, continues to move in a northeasterly direction. Firefighters are working to protect the cultural resources at the historic community of Last Chance.

"Last Chance is still on the very edge of the fire," said Kathy Van Zuuk, Tahoe National Forest spokesperson. "We haven't lost any historical structures yet."

Officials said the fire's overnight growth is partially because of the difficulty in coming up with an accurate acreage count amidst heavy smoke. There's also a large burned out section above Deadwood Ridge.

Van Zuuk said air quality is a major concern, and smoke is expected to be a problem across the Highway 80 corridor, Lake Tahoe Basin, the Sacramento Valley and surrounding foothills for the next several days.

"We expect the fire to remain active today, with the low humidity and high temperatures," Van Zuuk said.

More and more crews are being added to the effort. Tuesday morning the crew total was 318 people and today it's 540. Along with the Forest Service and Cal Fire personnel, multiple engines, helicopters and air tankers are at work.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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