Post-fire work begins in area burned by Trailhead Fire

The U.S. Forest Service announced that the Trailhead Fire was 98 percent contained as of Monday morning after burning for nearly two weeks in Placer and El Dorado counties.

Firefighters continue to mop up and patrol the fire line looking for hot spots, and crews are undertaking erosion mitigation measures, such as chipping downed trees, which aids in the regrowth of recently burned areas, a Forest Service news release said.

The fire began about 1:55 p.m. June 28 along the middle fork of the American River near Todd Valley and burned 5,646 acres. At one point, 2,600 structures were threatened and evacuations were ordered in Placer and El Dorado counties. All evacuations were lifted Wednesday.

Fire officials said islands of unburned vegetation inside the fire perimeter will continue to burn in coming days, and residents and visitors to the area should expect to see smoke.

They said progress on the fire was significantly aided by fuel-reduction efforts near the burned area. Reducing forest fuels slows the progress of a wildfire and provides defensible space from which firefighters can battle a blaze.

A Burned Area Emergency Response team, which deals with the aftermath of wildfires, will start work Wednesday, authorities said.

With the fire 98 percent contained, the Forest Service said no further updates will be issued.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy