Favorable weather is aiding the fight against a wildfire in California’s Gold Country that has forced evacuations in two counties.
The size of the Electra fire remained unchanged on Wednesday morning at about 6.1 sq miles (15.8 sq km), but containment doubled to 10%, the California department of forestry and fire protection (CalFire) said in a daily report.
“Humidity recovery in the early morning hours moderated fire activity,” CalFire said.
The fire started on Monday at a recreation area along a river in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada where people were celebrating Fourth of July. Nearly 100 people celebrating the holiday in the area were forced to take shelter at a Pacific Gas & Electric Co facility. All were later safely evacuated.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, but the Amador county sheriff, Gary Redman, has said the location in the Vox Beach area of the North Fork Mokelumne River could suggest fireworks or a barbecue as a cause.
The blaze forced evacuations in Amador and neighboring Calaveras counties. On Tuesday, authorities expanded evacuation orders for several remote communities, while firefighting crews were working to keep flames confined to unpopulated canyon areas.
More than 100 fire engines, 1,200 firefighters and 14 helicopters were sent to the fire, which was a threat to power infrastructure, CalFire said. The terrain was described as steep and rugged.
Mandatory evacuation orders and warnings combined affected up to 700 residents in Amador county and 300 to 400 people in Calaveras county, officials said. Evacuation centers were set up for people and animals.
CalFire said the number of threatened structures remained at 1,217 but there were no reports of structures destroyed or damaged. One firefighter has been injured.