Sand fire 95 percent contained, small fire burning in remote Placer County

As officials reported 95 percent containment of the Sand fire in El Dorado and Amador counties Wednesday, firefighters responded to a small fire burning in remote Placer County timber just north of Foresthill.

Dubbed the Portuguese fire, the new blaze was burning at a mountainous location called Portuguese Point and was not threatening structures. It was reported about 6 a.m. Wednesday and was likely caused by a lightning strike, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It was reported 40 percent contained at 4 acres Wednesday afternoon.

Nine engines, two hand crews and bulldozers were working to prevent the fire from growing. Cal Fire said that aircraft could be used to extinguish the blaze.

The Sand Fire, which started Friday afternoon, was reported 95 percent contained after burning 4,240 acres. Cal Fire reported that 948 personnel remained at the scene Wednesday evening, and firefighters were continuing to be released or reassigned to other incidents. With full containment expected by Saturday, Cal Fire announced that management of the fire will be transferred to its local Amador-El Dorado Unit on Thursday morning.

The Sand Fire destroyed 19 residential structures and 47 outbuildings, and authorities said damage assessments were continuing. Cal Fire officials said the fire was caused by a vehicle driven into dry vegetation.