NEVADA COUNTY – Firefighters on Thursday continued to gain ground against the Rices Fire burning along the Yuba River in Nevada County.
The wildfire covered 904 acres and was 20% contained as of 7 p.m., according to Cal Fire.
“We worked aggressively throughout the day and have seen very little fire growth,” said Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Deputy Chief Jim Hudson at a news conference.
“We’ll continue to work aggressively throughout the night and tomorrow,” Hudson added. “We do anticipate seeing some increase in the containment percentage of this fire.”
Hudson said crews were working in difficult conditions. According to Cal Fire, 13 firefighters have been injured on the job.
“We continue to have challenges on the west side of the fire along the Yuba River drainage,” Hudson said. “Crews are working aggressively and are working on constructing containment lines, but the topography and steep terrain has posed some challenges.”
On the east side of the blaze, there was no growth in the fire perimeter, and officials downgraded some evacuation orders to warnings. Residents were allowed to return to the Buttermilk area and the southern half of the French Corral area, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.
“People still need to be safe and be paying attention,” said Capt. Sam Brown. “The fire is not out.”
Some 250 structures remain threatened, according to Cal Fire.
The blaze was first reported at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Rices Crossing and Cranston roads, south of Dobbins, according to Cal Fire. The cause was traced to a structure fire.
The fire has injured one civilian and destroyed at least one structure, according to Cal Fire.
Check back for updates.