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Winds, dry conditions spark multiple blazes

Fires char land, structures in Auburn, Penryn, Roseville and El Dorado Hills
By: Jenna Nielsen, Journal Staff Writer
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PENRYN — Windy conditions throughout the state and foothills sparked dozens of wildland, vegetation and structure fires Tuesday including a 15-acre blaze that charred grass and threatened multiple structures in Penryn and a three–acre blaze that burned several buildings in Auburn. The hot weather, winds and dry ground conditions combined to boost fire dangers, said Jeff Brand, battalion chief with Cal Fire. “Tomorrow is supposed to be windier,” Brand said. “So we will see what tomorrow brings.” The wind-driven fire in Penryn broke out at approximately 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Clark Tunnel Road near Callison Road. Crews from Cal Fire, Penryn, Newcastle, Loomis and South Placer had the blaze mostly contained by 2:30 p.m., except for a pile of railroad ties that continued to burn until roughly 3:30 p.m. “We are working on a combination of attacking structure protection and fighting the fire,” Brand said at the scene Tuesday. Aircraft including two air tankers, a helicopter, and an air-attack unit also aided in the fire fighting efforts. Residents from at least one home were evacuated off Auburn Folsom and Lees roads Tuesday af-ternoon after a grass fire pushed by high winds spread to several outbuildings in between homes, including a barn and a shed. “The fire started in the grass and took out a couple of out buildings,” said Auburn Fire Chief Mark D’Ambrogi. “No single-family dwelling units were effected.” Fire crews from Auburn, Newcastle, South Penryn, Cal Fire, Tahoe National Forest and Colfax had the blaze contained by 5 p.m. Air support also aided in the fight. The causes of both fires are under investigation. A sizeable grassfire also burned 100 acres off Latrobe Road and Brentwood in south El Dorado Hills before being contained by crews late Tuesday afternoon. Two homes were also damaged in a Roseville blaze that broke out shortly before noon on the 1600 block of Soledad Drive, off Fiddyment Road, shooting flames dozens of feet up into the air, neighbors said. The causes of the Roseville and El Dorado Hills fires are also under investigation. A red-flag warning issued by the National Weather Service remained in effect Tuesday, signaling high winds and increased fire risk. Weather service officials indicated there may be no relief in sight. “Things are looking dry this summer,” said Felix Garcia, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Sacramento. “We’re not expecting any rain. In terms of the weather, we are looking at July conditions right now.” The Roseville Press-Tribune’s Nathan Donato-Weinstein contributed to this report. The Journal’s Jenna Nielsen can be reached at jennan@goldcountrymedia.com or comment on this story at auburnjournal.com.