Several fires scorch region
Illegally used fireworks sparked two wildland fires at Shore Shore Saturday that burned in total about 8 acres, said a U.S. Forest Service fire investigator.
The first fire was reported at 2:22 p.m. at the 800 block of Angora Creek Drive. Fireworks lit the day before smoldered and started a fire.
“It started down by the creek and worked its way up to trees,” said Paul Tyler, U.S. Forest Service Fire investigator. “It was probably a quarter-of-an-acre; we caught it pretty small. There were some spot fires and with nice homes across the street it caused some pretty serious concerns.”
Firefighters from the Forest Service and Lake Valley put out the fire with the help of a water drop from a helicopter. The blaze produced at least one spot fire, which was quashed by the time it burned about 100 square feet, said Lake Valley Fire Engineer Mike Corey.
The second fire, which burned between 7 and 8 acres just east of the top of Kingsbury Grade, was reported at 5:30 p.m. The fire started about one-quarter of a mile north of North Benjamin Drive. No residents had to be evacuated from area.
Three air tankers dropping fire retardant helped more than 100 firefighters from a number of agencies control the blaze by 1:30 a.m. Firefighters worked until 10 a.m. on Sunday to completely extinguish the fire.
“We have been fortunate in the Basin in all 20 years I’ve been here,” Tyler said. “We have dodged so many bullets without a home loss. I’m not an alarmist, but if you look at the indicators, and with the high winds with this spring, they act as an evaporation machine. From now on until we get any kind of moisture we’re in a heap of danger. It’s spooky.”
Tyler said quick response time and a team effort at the Kingsbury fire, which moved easterly, eliminated any chance for a disaster.
“When they take off like it did yesterday at Kingsbury, with the wind and thick fuel types that haven’t burned in years … (the key was) to get there fast and keep it small,” he said. “The slope was very steep. On average, fire spreads 16 times faster uphill.”
The fired created at least one spot fire on the west side of Kingsbury Grade. That blaze consumed a half-acre of land before it was put down, said Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection Assistant Chief Bruce Van Cleemput.
Tyler said juveniles with fireworks sparked the Kingsbury fire. The Forest Service is still investigating the incident.
The children responsible for the smaller fire on Angora Creek Drive have been identified but so far they have not been cited for their actions, said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Watson.
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