Crews continued to strengthen containment lines and extinguish hot spots on Wednesday for a grass fire that broke out in the area of Intanko Lane and Kapaka Lane, northeast of Wheatland, the afternoon prior, according to the CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit (NEU).
CAL FIRE public information officer Mary Eldridge said the blaze had grown to 939 acres as of Wednesday evening and was 85 percent contained.
“Forward progress was stopped yesterday afternoon,” said Eldridge on Wednesday.
According to Eldridge, the biggest challenge facing firefighters on Wednesday was simply the size of the blaze as well as its proximity to Beale Air Force Base.
“We will be out here for days if not weeks to make sure there are no more hot spots,” said Eldridge.
While multiple structures were threatened Tuesday afternoon, Eldridge said only one structure and one adjacent out building had been destroyed by the blaze as of Wednesday afternoon, and no injuries had been reported.
Eldridge said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. A CAL FIRE investigator was on scene Wednesday to examine the area.
The blaze, which has been dubbed the Intanko Fire, broke out just after 2 p.m. on Tuesday. The fire spread quickly due to a north wind that pushed the fire from Intanko Lane toward Waldo Road and Chuck Yeager Road near Spenceville Road and Beale Air Force Base.
Evacuation orders were issued for some residents of Beale Air Force Base and Camp Far West Lake shortly after the fire broke out, but those orders were lifted Tuesday evening.
CAL FIRE NEU has been working in unified command with the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from CAL FIRE Butte Unit, CAL FIRE Amador-El Dorado Unit, the Placer County Fire Department, Beale Air Force Base Fire and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.
Yuba County public information officer Rachel Rosenbaum said the Intanko Fire clearly demonstrates that it’s not just the foothills area that are at risk for wildfires – all residents need to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.
To prepare, Rosenbaum suggests keeping a go-bag with water, a change of clothes, copies of important documents and other essential items near a person’s front door or in their vehicle, as well as signing up to receive CodeRED alerts, which is often the first tool public safety officials use in notifying residents of an emergency.
More information about go-bags and CodeRed alerts can be found at BePreparedYuba.org.
Rosenbaum also recommends utilizing the evacuation mapping tool Zonehaven, which the sheriff’s office uses in the event of an emergency.
“It showed which ‘zones’ were under an evacuation warning or advisory, and updates in real-time,” said Rosenbaum.
Yuba County residents can view which zone they are located in based on their address by visiting community.zonehaven.com.
While the cause of the Intanko Fire is still being investigated, Rosenbaum said practicing preventative measures is also key to fire preparedness.
“When conditions are dry, even the smallest spark while working in a field or alongside a road can cause a quick-moving fire,” said Rosenbaum. “And just like the foothills, homes that are surrounded by 100 feet of defensible space, where brush and other flammable items are removed, are more likely to be still standing after a fire passes through.”