LINCOLN, Calif. (KTXL) -- Evacuations in an industrial area south of Thunder Valley Casino Resort were lifted Monday after a grass fire burning near Cincinnati Avenue and Foothills Boulevard was contained.
Hundreds of homes and businesses were evacuated in Roseville before the all-clear was given.
“We smelled smoke in the shop and then headed out,” said Marty Reyes.
When Reyes and his co-workers at Quality Telecom Consultants near Cincinnati Avenue and West Sunset Boulevard got outside, they saw a grass fire coming right at them.
“As soon as we looked out the back, you couldn’t even ... it was coming quick,” Reyes told FOX40.
But instead of running, they sprang into action.
“We were helping with the traffic in getting everyone out at the corner there,” Reyes said. “And then we just started working our way down as we've seen little fires popping up.”
The fire started as just 2 to 3 acres in the area of Athens Avenue and North Foothills Boulevard near Thunder Valley Casino. But with almost 20 mph winds, it quickly exploded in size.
Cal Fire said the fire, spurred on by erratic winds, had burned 355 acres.
“We did evacuate the industrial park here off Cincinnati Avenue and Sunset, Foothills area,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Bob Counts.
Some buildings had minor damage but entire cars were wiped out by the fast-moving flames. Cal Fire called in aircraft but dropping retardant had to be done extremely low to the ground.
“If they were to drop too high with this wind, it would just get blown off with the wind and it wouldn’t be effective,” Counts said.
By 3:12 p.m., the Placer County Sheriff's Office said the fire was contained.
Once most people got out, Reyes and his co-workers helped firefighters mop up, putting out hot spots with shovels.
“Yeah, we cleared it out and got out of there," Reyes said. “I mean this is the second one we’ve had come through here, so it’s a little routine now.”
The official cause of the fire is still under investigation.