49 Fire: Where are we one year later?

Series will focus on residents, investigation
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
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This time last year, Auburn residents were gearing up for the Black & White Ball. They were enjoying the final days of summer and preparing for the coming fall months. On Aug. 30, 2009, the lives of many North Auburn residents were turned upside down when a fast-moving blaze decimated a quiet subdivision. Over the next week, the Auburn Journal will present a series of stories that recap what happened the day of the 49 Fire and how those impacted have recovered – or not – during the year. Also, the Journal will look into how the investigation as to who and what caused the blaze is progressing. The 49 Fire burned 63 homes and two businesses to the ground and damaged numerous other buildings and vehicles. The fire started at about 2:22 p.m. and crews worked well into the night to contain it. Jeff Brand, the Cal Fire incident commander during the 49 Fire, said 90 engines, 13 hand crews, 18 bulldozers, 15 water tenders, 10 air tankers, six helicopters and about 700 personnel were on scene at the height of the fire at about 6 p.m. Here’s a glance at what’s coming in the Journal: - Thursday: The state of business. A North Auburn business owner talks about what it took to open their doors again. - Friday: Residents and the rebuild. Parkway Drive homeowners talk about starting from scratch. Look for continuing coverage over the weekend and into next week. Reach Jenifer Gee at