Crime - Sacto 911

Cook fire mostly contained in Yuba County

A prescribed burn in Yuba County intended as a training exercise for firefighters that got out of control Thursday afternoon, is reported to be mostly contained.

When the burn got out of control authorities made precautionary evacuations of several homes and called for additional firefighting crews.

Capt. John Hotchkiss of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit said the prescribed burn was planned for 212 acres at a UC Berkeley field station north of Highway 20, south of Collins Lake and west of Smartsville.

The training in low water use suppression began with a prescribed burn on 40 acres, but Hotchkiss said spot fires spread the fire. He said about 15 homes were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Additional firefighters also were requested. At the peak, he said, about 250 personnel, including 25 engines and 11 hand crews and nine bulldozers, along with aircraft, were involved in fighting the fire.

As of 8:45 a.m. Friday, what is being called the Cook fire was reported 75 percent contained with 180 acres burned. Hotchkiss said those 180 acres were part of the 212 acres designated for the prescribed burn.