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Fire near Kyburz reported 5 percent contained, Highway 50 still closed

Video: Kyburz Fire off Highway 50

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Firefighters were reported making good progress Thursday night toward halting the spread of a fire burning in the Kyburz area along Highway 50.

As of 8:45 p.m., the U.S. Forest Service reported that the fire was 5 percent contained at 100 acres

Highway 50 remained closed between Pollock Pines and Meyers, and an evacuation center was opened at the Pollock Pines Community Center, 2675 Sanders Drive in Pollock Pines.

Mandatory evacuations remained in effect from Whitehall to the Sand Flat Campground, and voluntary evacuations for Kyburz and Strawberry.

The fire is burning in timber and a steep canyon area of the Eldorado National Forest, according to the Forest Service. It was reported burning north of the American River and on both sides of Highway 50. Kristi Schroeder, a spokeswoman for the El Dorado National Forest, said the fire was burning toward the 2013 Kyburz fire area.

She said Highway 50 is closed east of Sly Park Road in Pollock Pines and west of Meyers. Motorists are advised to detour south on Sly Park Road five miles to Mormon Emigrant Trail, then to Highway 88. Forest Service officials warned that motorists’ GPS are rerouting them from Sly Park to Park Creek Road, which will lead them back to the closure area and they should not take that route.

The California Highway Patrol’s incident website indicates that a car fire occurred on Highway 50 at Kyburz Drive at 1:58 p.m. and spread into trees and brush. Schroeder said she was aware of the report, but said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

She said 224 personnel were on scene along with 21 engines. Air tankers, helicopters and a “super scooper” aircraft also were assisting.

Check back for more information.

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