Fires

Was pot to blame in Auburn-area fire that threatened homes?

Up-close footage of California National Guard firefighting efforts

The 129th Rescue Wing shows its recent firefighting efforts in Northern California. The crew on the Pave Hawk helicopter, included Major Nate Nowaski, Capt. Tyler Gibson, Staff Sgt. Christian Meyers and Senior Airman Ryan Dumatol. Video was posted
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The 129th Rescue Wing shows its recent firefighting efforts in Northern California. The crew on the Pave Hawk helicopter, included Major Nate Nowaski, Capt. Tyler Gibson, Staff Sgt. Christian Meyers and Senior Airman Ryan Dumatol. Video was posted

A juvenile has been arrested in connection with the fire that threatened homes and prompted evacuations in the the Auburn area Thursday afternoon.

Mary Eldridge, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said a juvenile suspected of causing the fire was taken into custody shortly after the fire started. It has not been determined whether the act was malicious or accidental, she said.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office, in a Twitter post, said the fire started while the boy was smoking marijuana and he reported the fire. The youth was booked at Placer County Juvenile Hall.

The fire broke out about 1 p.m. on the Upper Stagecoach Trail in the Auburn State Recreation Area. The trail leads up to the residential area, Eldridge said.

The forward progress was halted about 2:45 p.m. Evacuations and road closures were lifted shortly before 5 p.m.

Eldridge said the fire burned 12 acres. Crews were mopping up hot spots Thursday evening, she said.

Cal Fire said an aerial attack halted the blaze’s forward progress near Auburn, but evacuation orders remained in place through the afternoon and Placer County officials opened an evacuation center at the Gold Country Fairgrounds.

Firefighters had warned that structures were threatened, and air tankers dropping retardant and helicopters scooping water from the American River helped halt its momentum.

Eldridge said 3,200 Pacific Gas and Electric customers were without power Thursday afternoon due to the fire.

According to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, mandatory evacuations were issued for Oak Haven Road, Flood Road, Woodland Place, Lamborn Lane, Temple Drive, Tierra Way, Mountain Avenue, Sierra Way, Flood Lane, Kilham Road, Oakhill Way, Sierra Mesa Court and Sierra Mesa Place.

Sam Stanton: 916-321-1091, @StantonSam

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