NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Structure fire-turned vegetation fire in area of Rice’s Crossing near Bridgeport burned over 900 acres.
Cal Fire Unit Chief of Nevada, Yuba, and Placer Brian Estes said, “We launched an incredible aviation aerial and ground resource initial attack. And extended attack assault on this fire.”
The difficult work of battling the Rice’s blaze from the air and steep terrain is paying off.
“I do have some good news about today. We are definitely far from being out of the woods. But we have shown some significant progress,” said Estes.
As of Wednesday evening, Estes said the fire has burned 904 acres and firefighters have 10% containment.
Twenty hours after the Rices Fire began, this is the kind of devastation its left behind. Many vehicles, scorched down to the frame. And many structures that look like homes, burned to the ground.
Firefighters returned to the blackened areas to ensure there were no flare ups. Overnight, flames spread to the bottom of the Yuba River drainage. But the goal was to prevent it from jumping the Yuba River and into Yuba County.
“Right now the fire is 100% holding in Nevada County,” he said.
North San Juan Resident John Gross, spent much of the day checking on properties, assessing the damage and giving updates to fellow residents. He described his feelings as he pulled up to find his home still intact.
“Very grateful, thankful, speechless,” Gross said. “Neighbors’ homes destroyed and thankful enough that they staged at our house, and saved our homes and structures.”
He said the work he and his family has done around their home made all the difference.
“Stay fire smart. Do all your prep during the winter. Spend four or five hours a day, chainsawing, weed whacking. Being fire smart,” he explained.