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Placer County wildfire threatens 150 homes

July 13, 2012 |  4:02 pm

State fire officials are calling in more crews to fight a Placer County wildfire that has forced evacuations and threatens 150 homes.

The Robbers fire, which started Wednesday afternoon, has burned about 1,100 acres of brush and timber three miles northwest of Foresthill and is only 10% contained.

More than 1,300 firefighters are battling the blaze with the aid of 144 engines, nine air tankers and nine helicopters, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which is managing the effort.

The fire is one of three burning in Northern California. The largest is the Mill fire in the Mendocino National Forest in Colusa County, which has blackened 23,414 acres.

California has escaped serious wildfire damage so far this season, but other parts of the West have been hard hit. And state fire officials have warned that the same dry conditions that contributed to those blazes exist here.

"We've had a brief reprieve from large fire activity the last two years," said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of the forestry department. "But the exceptionally dry winter has set the stage for a more active fire season this year, and we're seeing fire activity now that we would typically not see until late August."


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-- Bettina Boxall