Amador County Wildfire Raging at Nearly 3,500 Acres, About 15,000 People Are Without Power

A sudden wildfire in Amador County on July 4 forced nearly 100 beachgoers to lock themselves in a PG&E power plant for safety reasons Monday afternoon and evening. While they are now evacuated, the fire is still growing and the PG&E infrastructure has a “number of potentially compromised assets” in what has been dubbed the Electra fire.

Somewhere between 85 and 100 people enjoying the Fourth of July at a beachfront facility along the North Fork Mokelumne River in Amador County had about the most dystopian California Independence Day 2022 experience imaginable. Sometime before 4 p.m., a huge wildfire broke out, blocking roads, and the crowd was forced to spend their 4th of July hiding in a PG&E power plant for security.

Sacramento’s KOVR Reports that “John Sullivan, who was at the power plant, telephoned CBS13 to tell CBS13 that he was at the beach with his wife and children celebrating the Fourth of July holiday when they saw a bonfire get out of hand. As people tried to leave, the fire blocked the road and a local Auxiliary Police officer evacuated them to the power plant.”

“Sullivan said firefighters wanted to let the fire pass before people exit the power plant, but the road was blocked by fire equipment and fallen trees,” the station adds. “Nevertheless, even as night fell, the residents of the complex remained hopeful that they would return home soon.”

These people managed to get out of this nightmare around 9:30pm Monday night. But the above video from the CAL FIRE Amador-El Dorado Unit shows what the Chronicle is reporting was called Electra Firewhich had grown to about 3,000 acres as of Tuesday morning and whose mandatory evacuation order was extended to the area about 50 miles southwest of Sacramento Tuesday afternoon.

The Bay Area News Group provides this evacuation card, with the red area being mandatory and the yellow area being under an evacuation warning. Warnings extend across the Amador County border into Calaveras County. From early Tuesday afternoon the Fire seems to have grown to 3,455 hectares.

And many people are without power because of the fire, and many more may still be without power. “PG&E says about 15,000 customers are still without power in parts of Amador and Calaveras counties as of Tuesday morning,” KOVR said. “Crews have preemptively de-energized several distribution lines at Cal Fire’s request.”

And ominously, the broadcaster reports, “The utility also says they have a number of assets that may be at risk from the Electra fire.”

Cal Fire still says that the cause of the fire has been “investigated”. but many people will instinctively blame fireworks or PG&E for the flames. We’ll probably know more as the week goes on. But the Electra Fire is currently trending in the wrong direction and it’s likely to be a difficult week for Amador and Calaveras counties

Related: Bay Area fire departments were very busy through July 4 with firecrackers that started hundreds of fires [SFist]

Image: Amador Fire on Facebook

Amador County Wildfire Raging at Nearly 3,500 Acres, About 15,000 People Are Without Power Source link Amador County Wildfire Raging at Nearly 3,500 Acres, About 15,000 People Are Without Power

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