Cal Fire

Lowell Fire Destroys 4,000 Acres Near Tahoe Area, Evacuations Underway

What started as a small fire near Tahoe Saturday afternoon has quickly spread, burning several thousand acres of land and forcing evacuations.

The Lowell Fire has scorched 4,000 acres in the Steep Hollow drainage area west of Alta near Placer County in northeast California, according to Cal Fire officials. It was the second multi-thousand-acre brushfire burning in Northern California this weekend, following the 6,900-acre Wragg Fire smoldering between San Francisco and Sacramento.

The Lowell fire started at 2:37 p.m. Saturday; Cal Fire did not give an estimate of how much it was contained as of 4:15 a.m. Sunday.

Access to the fire is very challenging, a Cal Fire representative said, but 600 fire personnel were battling the blaze.

The Placer and Nevada County Sheriff’s offices are asking the public for help in identifying a vehicle of interest that may have caused the fire, Cal Fire said. The 4 x 4 white jeep Wrangler was found in the area without a top, no front doors and a black roll bar around 2:30 p.m.

Anyone with information about the vehicle is encouraged to call the Placer or Nevada County Sheriff’s department.

Officials evacuated several communities by Saturday evening. Mandatory evacuations were underway for Red Dog, Chaulk Bluff and You Bet areas in Nevada County. Advisory evacuation was in place for the northeastern portion of Cascade Shores.

Red Dog Road is closed between Greenhorn Creek and You Bet Road, according to Cal Fire. 

An evacuation center was opened at the Nevada Union High School on 11671 Ridge Road in Grass Valley, according to Cal Fire.
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