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Update: Applegate fire 80 percent contained

Efforts such as this aerial assault on Friday continue on the Applegate fire, which is being contained while firefighters contend with higher wins and temperatures on Sunday.
Efforts such as this aerial assault on Friday continue on the Applegate fire, which is being contained while firefighters contend with higher wins and temperatures on Sunday. Associated Press

The Applegate Fire east of Auburn was 80 percent contained by this evening, officials with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported.

A spokesman for the department said full containment of the fire is expected on Monday. The fire burned six residences and 459 acres of hilly woodlands. The cause is under investigation.

The blaze, which began on Wednesday near Applegate in Placer County, had threatened 400 homes earlier in the weekend and forced evacuations in the area east of Interstate 80 at Applegate Road and Hidden Meadow Way.

Evacuation orders were rescinded at noon today. About 1,000 firefighters are on the scene.

“We’ve still got some ‘hot spots,’ and we’re very cognizant of the winds,” said Scott McLean this afternoon. “Today is probably going to be our windiest day, and any embers that are carried across the fire lines could cause a lot of problems.”

National Weather Service spokeswoman Cindy Matthews said winds in the Applegate area were gusting between 20 and 35 mph this morning. Gusts in Sacramento reached 39 mph.

Temperatures in both areas are well above normal this weekend, with Applegate expecting a Sunday high of 84 degrees. Sacramento is expected to top out at 88 degrees, about 10 degrees higher than normal.

“By Tuesday or Wednesday, we should be back to typical fall weather,” Matthews said. Sacramento might even get some rain showers Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Call The Bee’s Cynthia Hubert, (916) 321-1082. Follow her on Twitter @Cynthia_Hubert.

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