Evacuation orders were expanded Tuesday for remote California communities near a wildfire that may have been sparked by fireworks or a barbecue on the Fourth of July in a mountainous region that’s a top tourism destination, writes APNEWS.
The Electra Fire in Sierra Nevada Gold Country broke out Monday afternoon and tripled in size to about 15.8 square kilometers. It was 5% contained Tuesday night. The fire was making short, uphill runs, fire officials said.
“The rate of spread isn’t what it was like yesterday, but it is still spreading”, - said Amador County Sheriff Gary Redman. He said firefighters were working to keep flames confined to unpopulated canyon areas.
Mandatory evacuation orders and warnings combined affected up to 700 residents in Amador County and 300 to 400 people in Calaveras County, Redman said. Evacuation centers were set up for people and animals.
More than 100 fire engines, 1,200 firefighters and 14 helicopters were sent to the fire, which was a threat to power infrastructure, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. The terrain was described as steep and rugged.