Rices Fire threatening more than 500 structures and critical infrastructure, California

rices fire california june 28 2022 f

A wildfire that started on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, near North San Juan in the Rice’s Crossing area, Nevada County, California has already burned 200 ha (500 acres) of land and several structures. Evacuations were ordered for areas near Rice’s Crossing and Cranston roads.

It’s currently 0% contained and is threatening more than 500 other structures and critical infrastructure, including Pacific Gas & Electric Co. power lines, water delivery systems and South Yuba State Park, Cal Fire Unit Chief. Brian Estes. said on a Tuesday evening news conference.

The fire was burning in brush, oak and heavy timber between the south fork of the Yuba River and the main Yuba River drainage, Estes said.

Nevada County Sheriff’s Office ordered evacuations for the area north of Pleasant Valley Road from Bridgeport, and east to Birchville Road up to the Yuba County line. An evacuation warning was also issued for the Birchville and Sweetland Road areas, sheriff’s officials said.1

If the fire crosses the drainage into Yuba County, it could “have some tremendous impacts” on communities such as Dobbins and Oregon House, Estates said.2

“We are one of the few, large dynamic incidents going on in the state, so the support that we’ve received … has been tremendous.”

Aircraft will be monitoring the fire overnight, but no further water or retardant drops were planned until Wednesday due to the terrain. Humidity levels were expected to increase overnight, which would be key to the firefighting effort.

“However, in these river canyons — and the Yuba River is one of the most pronounced in our area — we get a turn in the winds,” Estes said. “Instead of them blowing up canyon and up drainage through the daytime hours … they will reverse as that nighttime air cools and wants to burn down. We always have to look at that potential for the fire to change directions.”

References:

1 Nevada County fire threatening more than 500 structures – San Francisco Chronicle – June 29, 2022

2 Wildfire burns at least one structure, threatens 500 more in rural Northern California – Los Angeles Times – June 28, 2022

Featured image credit: CalFire

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