Sand Fire at 65% Containment, Evacuations Reduced

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Fire crews working the Sand Fire in El Dorado and Amador County said they are at around 65% containment Monday.

CAL FIRE Spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said crews struggled the most on Saturday, and the flames blew out of the containment lines. However, with the help of aerial retardants, crews made the biggest progress on Sunday.

“We had multiple aircraft on it to try and get ahead of the fire and slow it down, and let our crews on the ground get their work done,” Tolmachoff said. “We had to bring in the DC 10 and DC 7 that drop about 10,000 gallons of retardant in one go.”

Tolmachoff said so far, the Sand Fire has burned 3,800 acres, destroyed 13 homes, and 38 out buildings. No one has been either seriously injured or killed.

Out of the 1,900 fire personnel on scene, about 700 of them were inmate firefighters.

” They are the back bone of support for the fire service for us,” CAL FIRE Crew captain, Todd Hutchings said.

Their role as cooks and fire fighters was essential in helping contain the fire, especially because CAL FIRE is running low on funds this drought year. They already exhausted a majority of their annual budget.

“We started fire season so early this year, and the type of fire activity that we have is something we normally see in August September, and we haven’t even reached August,” Tolmachoff said. “So we have to just expect things to get worse, but we have to be prepared for it.”

CAL FIRE hopes to have 100% containment by Friday, August 1st.

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