September 24 2021 03:30 pm

River Fire: All evacuation orders, warnings lifted; containment now 78%

Wildfire Watch

PLACER COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — All evacuations have been lifted as more than 450 fire personnel continue to increase containment on the River Fire, which started at a campground near Colfax.

The fire has burned 2,619 acres and is 78% contained, Cal Fire reported Tuesday morning. Over 1,100 structures are still threatened by the fire. 

According to Cal Fire, firefighters are still strengthening fire lines around homes while damage inspection teams go over the rubble left behind by the flames, which destroyed 88 structures, including 66 homes.

“The fire is moderated. We certainly are not out of the woods yet,” said Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Fire Chief Brian Estes on Saturday.

A large number of hazard trees remain in the area, Cal Fire said. They are working to remove trees near roads and structures to facilitate the repopulation of residents.

Over the weekend, fire officials lifted several evacuation orders, which allowed residents in Nevada and Placer counties to check on their homes.

Michael Mazikowski told FOX40 he returned to find his home of 16 years had been leveled by the blaze. 

“I hope nobody has to go through this, it’s pretty devastating,” Mazikowski said. 

Placer and Nevada counties opened re-entry centers for evacuees Monday, allowing those within mandatory evacuation areas to talk to law enforcement and emergency services representatives about damaged properties and getting passes to return to areas still closed to the public.

By Tuesday morning, all evacuation orders and warnings had been lifted in Placer and Nevada counties.

Colfax High School students will return to classrooms Tuesday, while the first day back at Colfax Elementary was pushed back by a week.

About 150 students were displaced by the River Fire. Eleven staff members can’t get to their homes and two lost everything.

Placer County residents who need shelter support can call 211.

Placer County Animal Services at 11232 B Ave. in Auburn, CA is listed as an animal evacuation center.

Additional information on the highway closures in Placer County can be searched on the Caltrans website. Nevada County residents can check the ZoneHaven map.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state has secured a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help crews battle the River Fire. Newsom also issued a State of Emergency in Siskiyou, Nevada and Placer counties. 

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