Mandatory evacuations dropped as Trailhead fire containment reaches 75 percent

Containment on the Trailhead Fire that broke out a week ago in the Sierra has reached 75 percent as of Wednesday morning and mandatory evacuations have been lifted, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The fire was not very active Monday night, according to Cal Fire officials, but grew about 500 acres to 5,614 total acres burned.

Joe Zwierzchowski, spokesman for Cal Fire, says the lift reflects the confidence and the progress the personnel have made. “We are still in voluntary evacuation status,” he added. Residents are free to come and go as they please, as long as they present an ID to officials at a checkpoint before entering, Zwierzchowski said.

“You can’t force people from their homes,” he added.

“We have almost doubled the population of Georgetown,” Zwierzchowski said. More than 2,000 firefighters and officials have set up camp.


Firefighters continued mopping up hot spots Tuesday on the wildland blaze that began June 28 along the middle fork of the American River south of Todd Valley. No structures have been damaged, according to officials.

Zwierzchowski says the fire crews will continue to monitor the remaining active fire and use the American River to keep it from advancing north. “That’s priority No. 1,” he said.

Fire officials noted that there are unburned “islands” of trees and brush inside the containment lines that are likely to ignite in the coming days. Residents and visitors to the area should not be surprised to see smoke.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews