Country Fire evacuees tell their story in El Dorado County
Evacuations were lifted Wednesday after rural residents of the Sierra foothills fled a wildfire burning near Cool in El Dorado County, and firefighters have made strides toward containment, Cal Fire said in an evening update.
The Country Fire was 60% contained as of 7 p.m. and remains at 85 acres, Cal Fire said. The grass fire sparked along Highway 193, northeast of the town of Cool, around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Cal Fire.
The wildfire prompted evacuation orders along winding hill roads Tuesday evening.
As of Wednesday morning, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said all evacuation orders were lifted except for those on Circle Drive and Lou Allen Lane, both located along Highway 193 between Cool and Greenwood. Those orders were dropped later in the day.
Two Garden Valley firefighters sustained minor injuries Tuesday when their truck was overrun by the fire. Three out-buildings and one modular structure were damaged as of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
The Cool Community Church was designated as the evacuation center. About 30 people were staying at the church as of Tuesday evening.
Cal Fire estimated the fire at 85 acres as of Tuesday evening’s incident update. The reported size was then listed at 75 acres in a 7 a.m. incident update Wednesday, but again reported at 85 acres in an 8 a.m. update.
The fire started with a rapid rate of spread, prompting the dispatch of air tankers, but those tankers were ultimately called off as firefighters got a handle on the blaze.
“Fire fighters worked throughout the day and made significant progress toward full containment,” Cal Fire said in a Wednesday evening update. “Crews will continue to patrol the area and mop up hot spots. Please avoid the area to allow resources to continue their work.”
Cal Fire does not yet have an estimated time of full containment but has mitigated the fire’s threat to structures in the area.
A total of 75 firefighters were assigned to the scene Wednesday evening.
The fire’s cause remains under investigation.