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Small blaze near Auburn latest sign of tough fire season

A 1-acre vegetation fire just east of Auburn took six hours to extinguish overnight and served as the latest sign of how dry conditions have posed unusual challenges this fire season, state officials said.

Firefighters from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection responded to calls about the fire along Lower Lake Clementine Road at 9 p.m. last night, said agency spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff.

No structures were threatened and the blaze was extinguished by 3 a.m., but firefighters will be monitoring conditions in the area throughout the morning.

Eight fire engines, along with other equipment, were required to put out the fire. Complicating matters for firefighters, the blaze covered a steeply sloping area along the road.

Tolmachoff said nighttime fires like this one are very unusual, especially this early in the summer.

“The conditions we have now are what we would normally see mid-to-late July,” Tolmachoff said. “To get an acre like that after sundown when humidity is up, that’s definitely significant.”