Highway 50 open in both directions near Placerville after trailer truck sparks fire

Grass burns near a Highway 50 off ramp Wednesday near Placerville.
Grass burns near a Highway 50 off ramp Wednesday near Placerville. Cal Fire

6:45 p.m. update:

A team of 25 officers with six engines and a water tender fully contained the fire at 6.45 p.m. The size of the fire was updated to 16 acres in Cal Fire’s most recent news release.

Fire crews were to continue patrolling the area and secure hot spots during the evening, according to the release. The incident was resolved without structure damage or injuries.

Original story:

Highway 50 was open for traffic in both directions around 3 p.m. Wednesday near Placerville after a grass fire burned 20 acres and briefly closed the highway, the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans said.

Data from Google Maps indicates intense congestion eastbound and quickening traffic westbound between Cameron Park Drive and the Red Hawk Casino area at 3:10 p.m. Eastbound traffic was still backed up as of 4:30 p.m.

Around 1:40 p.m., the highway closed both ways in the area of Greenstone Road, halfway between Shingle Springs and Placerville, the CHP Placerville office and Caltrans said in tweets.

Homes were evacuated in the area of Studebaker Road near Greenstone Road, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet.

CHP’s incident log says the fire started at 1:21 p.m. on the right-hand shoulder of the highway when the back wheels of a trailer truck blew and caught on fire. The fire spread into the grass along the highway from a truck fire.

Westbound lanes opened for traffic around 2 p.m. and El Dorado County Sheriff’s officers began repopulating the evacuated areas around 2:30 p.m., according to an officer’s tweets. Logs indicate CHP opened one eastbound lane at 3:04 p.m..

The fire was 15 percent contained at 3:30 p.m. according to a Cal Fire update. No structures were destroyed and no injuries were reported.

Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.
Caroline Ghisolfi, from Stanford University, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee, focusing on breaking news and health care. She grew up in Milan, Italy.