September 24 2021 03:30 pm

‘We can’t get home right now’: Bridge Fire displaces Placer County residents

Local News

AUBURN, Calif. (KTXL) — After spending two weeks out-of-state, Gilbert and Dawn McMillan hoped to return to their Placer County home Sunday to charge and relax.

But then they saw huge plumes of smoke appear.

“We were out of town,” Gilbert McMillan said, “We were coming back and we can’t get home right now. We’re stuck at Raley’s.”

Flames from the fast-moving Bridge Fire sparked just a few hours earlier, shutting-down Foresthill Road and prompting a new round of evacuations near Auburn.

“We’d gone back east recently, took all of our paperwork, our birth certificates and all that, and left them at our daughter’s in Stockton, so today we went down to pick them up and were just on our way home and — roadblock,” McMillan said.

And the McMillans aren’t the only ones waiting in limbo — hundreds more have been ordered to leave in case flames flare up.

We’re 100-plus degrees right now. Got a good, stiff, southwesterly breeze — nothing like a critical weather event,” said Cal Fire Chief Brian Estes. “I think the thing we’ve seen all year is the spotting potential, the receptive nature of the fuel beds. It’s really hard to stay ahead of the fires with the spotting that we’re seeing.”

But with visibility clear enough Sunday, help came from above with nine air tankers, tasked with putting out hot spots as 30 fire engines and 15 dozers controlled the flames from below.

And the McMillans hope it’s enough to stop the Bridge Fire from threatening his home.

“At 88 years old, I don’t want to start over again,” McMillan said.

As of Sunday evening, Auburn is not in danger, according to the city’s police department. At last check, no homes have been reported damaged or destroyed.

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