Colfax Fire 25 percent contained

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Calaveras County Fire

File photo


A scary day for folks who live in Colfax and have the American River Canyon as their backyard.

Helicopters had to dump water on 25 burning acres in the canyon as homeowners like Fred Abbott watched with wary eyes.

To make living right in the midst of so much forest fire fuel as safe as possible, he’s cut defensible space around his home and built with cement siding and composite deck planks that won’t burn.

Still, any time he hears a spotter plane and sees smoke he gets nervous and prepared.

“Packed up the car, all the legal paper and things we couldn’t do without, dog food and medications…ready to go of need be,” said Fred Abbott.

At 9pm Monday, CalFire was still counting the blaze in Colfax at 25 acres and 25 percent contained.

Much larger fires have swept across the western side of the canyon toward his house in the past – with his home used as a impromptu command center because of its good vantage point on the area.

Abbott says he has to be ready to leave and lose it all, but he wouldn’t want to live any place else.

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