Placer County fire forces hundreds from homes

July 12, 2012 10:04:27 PM PDT
Hundreds of people are still under evacuation orders, as a fire in Placer County continues to burn out of control. The "Robbers Fire" has covered more than one square mile near Colfax along the American River.

Kind gestures help to lighten the mood to anxious circumstances. The Shawl family left their home Wednesday evening when a fire broke out near their Yankee Jims Road home in Placer County. The fire has destroyed more than 300 acres and continues to threaten dozens of homes, but the family was allowed to go home and grab a few things today. "I grabbed my choir outfits, my black belt and my grandma's earrings," Mavis Shawl said. "Mavis was like come on mom let's go and I was like no we need this, we need that," Kathy Shawl said.

While other families slept inside the shelter, the Shawls camped out with their animals. They saved their dogs, horses, birds and cats. They'll be spending this day dropping animals off at different locations to stay with friends.

Fire crews are keeping busy with this relentless wildfire fueled by triple digits and low humidity. It's now heading northeast of the American River toward Iowa Hill. "If it continues to burn in that area, it has the potential to continue to burn north in through that canyon and that canyon is very narrow, so it's really easy to spot over the river on the other side where it could threaten other communities like Colfax," Cal Fire Spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

In the meantime, the Red Cross has two shelters up and running, ready and available for families forced to leave their homes. "When people show up here they are very anxious, and there's probably a lot of rumors out there and they're coming here for some grounded information," Service Coordinator for the Red Cross David Kennedy said.

At least 1000 Firefighters are at the scene and expected to be there through the night. The number of damage has grown from 300 acres to 700 acres and the fire is 10 percent contained.


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