NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. — Find the latest updates on the Rices Fire HERE.
300 people were forced from their homes after the Rices Fire sparked in Nevada County, officials said.
The Rices Fire sparked around 2 p.m. Tuesday off Rice's Crossing Road and Cranston Road west of North San Juan. The fire is at 904 acres and 10% containment, however, Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Chief Brian Estes said crews are still far from being out of the woods.
Crews have been trying to keep the fire from crossing into neighboring Yuba County. Despite the fire getting into the Yuba River drainage, Estes said the fire is 100% holding in Nevada County.
Estes said the fire burned to the north and to the northeast, toward the Yuba River drainage.
"At last check, about one hour ago, our hand crews on the left flank were about 1,000 feet out from cutting this out and tying it in to the bottom of the river canyon. On the right flank, an hour ago, they were 150 feet from the river's bottom," Estes said.
At least four structures have been destroyed and about 340 structures are threatened along with South Yuba State Park. Crews are still assessing the structural damage and structures threatened within the burn area.
Captain Sam Brown, of the Nevada County Sheriff's Office, said 250 homes were evacuated along with 300 people.
The fire started after an uninhabitable structure caught fire and spread to vegetation in the area, according to Estes. The cause of that structure fire is under investigation.
- Acres: 904
- Containment: 10%
- Injuries due to heat-related illness: 3, including 2 firefighters
Nevada County and Yuba County
The Nevada County Office of Emergency Services issued evacuation orders for certain areas due to the fire.
The Yuba County Sheriff's Department issued an evacuation warning for areas in Yuba County.
View the evacuation map below for updates on evacuations.
- Madelyn Helling Library at 980 Helling Way
- Nevada County Fairgrounds at McCourtney Road open to animal shelters
- Pleasant Valley Road at Birchville
- Pleasant Valley Road at Bridgeport
- Birchville Road at Hwy. 49
According to Cal Fire, the 2021 fire season started earlier than previous years, but also ended earlier, as well. January 2021 saw just under 1,200 acres burned from nearly 300 wildfires. Fires picked up in the summer when the Dixie Fire burned in five Northern California counties — Butte, Plumas, Shasta, Lassen and Tehama. The Dixie Fire started on July 13 and wasn't contained until Oct. 25, burning nearly 1 million acres. It has since become the second-largest wildfire in state history and the largest non-complex fire.
Overall, 2.5 million acres were burned in 2021 from 8,835 wildfires. Over 3,600 structures were destroyed and 3 people were killed.
If you live in a wildfire-prone zone, Cal Fire suggests creating a defensible space around your home. Defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation and other debris are completely cleared. At least 100 feet is recommended.
The Department of Homeland Security suggests assembling an emergency kit that has important documents, N95 respirator masks, and supplies to grab with you if you’re forced to leave at a moment’s notice. The agency also suggests signing up for local warning system notifications and knowing your community’s evacuation plans best to prepare yourself and your family in cases of wildfires.
Some counties use Nixle alerts to update residents on severe weather, wildfires, and other news. To sign up, visit www.nixle.com or text your zip code to 888777 to start receiving alerts.
PG&E customers can also subscribe to alerts via text, email, or phone call. If you're a PG&E customer, visit the Profile & Alerts section of your account to register.
What questions do you have about the latest wildfires? If you're impacted by the wildfires, what would you like to know? Text the ABC10 team at (916) 321-3310.