Evacuation orders in the Colfax area of Placer County were lifted after crews gained control of a fire that sparked Thursday afternoon. The Bear Fire was reported around 1:30 p.m. near the Bear River Bridge and State Route 174. Cal Fire, the state’s fire management agency, said the fire has burned about 10 acres and is 25% contained.
Containment is not a gauge of how much of the fire is extinguished, but rather a measure of how much of a perimeter is established to prevent fire from spreading. It is not likely for fire to spread past a containment line, but extreme fire behavior in recent years has shown that it is possible.
It’s unclear what started the fire.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office says they are investigating a death that happened in the Sailor Flat Trailhead area late Wednesday night.
The incident happened around 10:45 p.m. near the Sailor Flat Trailhead. Officials believe the teen was hit by a falling tree.
No other details about the incident, that the person killed was a minor, have been released at this point.
The Sailor Flat Trailhead is located about 90 miles northeast of Sacramento in the Tahoe National Forest.
Rio Vista police on Thursday released new information on a head-on crash along Highway 12 that left four dead and six others injured.
All three people inside one of the vehicles died. Two of them were not wearing a seatbelt and were thrown from the car. The victims were all around the ages of 19 and 20.
The crash happened Wednesday night on the highway just east of Summerset Road.
The Rio Vista police chief said the 20-year-old driver of a Honda Accord veered off the road, then over-corrected before slamming into a suburban head-on.
The SUV was carrying a family of seven Mexican nationals who were on a week-long vacation. A passenger in her early-to-mid-70s, Laura Poiret, was killed. All six surviving victims, including an 8-year-old and a teenage girl, are listed as stable.
In 2021, Lake Tahoe’s algae and particle levels soared to unprecedented levels. Long-established phytoplankton behavior changed, and zooplankton populations collapsed. Scientists think wildfires may be partially to blame. On Thursday, UC Davis’s Tahoe Environmental Research Center released its annual State of the Lake report, which detailed phenomena observed in Lake Tahoe in 2021. Scientists observed unprecedented changes in aquatic organism populations, phytoplankton behavior and in algal growth. Last summer, the Caldor Fire ripped across the Sierras, prompting evacuations in South Lake Tahoe, and charring over 220,000 acres of forest near the lake. Another fire to the north, the Loyalton Fire, also brought smoke to the basin as it charred over 47 thousand acres. Experts initially celebrated Lake Tahoe’s continued clarity in the aftermath of the fires, but in Thursday’s report, they attributed growing algae and particle levels in part to the wildfires’ effects. Although particle levels are at their highest, Lake Tahoe remains clearer than it was in 2017, its murkiest year. According to the center’s Lake Tahoe clarity report released this month, 2021’s clarity was the second lowest on record — 61 feet.
A man driving a golf cart on a highway near Lake Tahoe was killed early Tuesday morning after being rear-ended by a vehicle, California Highway Patrol officials said. The utility golf cart belonged to the Tahoe City Downtown Association, the CHP Truckee office said in a news release, and it was being driven by a Kings Beach man in his 50s on westbound Highway 28 in Tahoe City shortly after 6:20 a.m., when the crash happened. A 2018 Honda traveling directly behind the golf cart failed to notice the golf cart in front of him and collided with its rear at an undetermined speed, CHP officials said. The collision ejected the driver from the golf cart, resulting in fatal injuries, authorities said. The crash remains under investigation, but the CHP said drugs or alcohol do not appear to have been factors.
Homeless numbers in Placer County have remained virtually unchanged in the past two years, according to a new report released this month. A total of 750 individuals experience homelessness on any given night in Placer County, according to a federally mandated point-in-time homeless count released earlier this month. In 2020, the last time the count was conducted using the same method, officials counted 744 unhoused people. Given the marginal increase in the homeless count despite population growth throughout the county, Placer’s rates of homelessness have slightly decreased in the two-year period since the last count, according to Placer department of Health and Human Services director Rob Oldham. Conducted by the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras, the point in time count estimates the number of both sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness in Placer County on a single night. Typically, the point in time count is viewed as an undercount of the total homeless population in the county, according to the Placer County website, because many individuals move in and out of homelessness over the course of the year. The 2022 count tallied 408 unsheltered and 342 sheltered individuals in the county. Of these, 648 were adults over the age of 24, 43 were youth between the ages of 18 to 24 and 59 were children under the age of 18.