Our View: Seeing fire crews in action money well spent

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What started with a spark and 25 acres has ballooned into more than 1,900 acres of forestland on fire and more than 1,900 fire personnel trying to stop the spread. In the constant fight over budget and spending, it?s easy to become jaded about where our taxpayer dollars go. There?s no doubt battling the Robbers Fire is going to rack up the costs ? and we hope officials are judicious with their spending ? but the effort to save homes and lives is worth the money. In the past few days, Auburn roads have been filled with red fire trucks making their way up and down the by ways to fight the fire, which at last count Saturday night had burned 1,950 acres. The forest fire started at about 3:25 p.m. Wednesday at Shirttail Canyon and Yankee Jims roads northwest of Foresthill. The cause was still under investigation and Cal Fire was neither confirming nor denying rumors that fireworks sparked the blaze. Since then, more than 1,900 fire personnel have responded to the burning canyon area, which is situated between Colfax and Foresthill with the small community of Iowa Hill to the north. Residents were evacuated Wednesday evening and as of Saturday, 170 homes were threatened according to Cal Fire. Journal readers have sent in their photos. Some from the Colfax side of the fire show just how dangerous the flames could be if they climb over the canyon ridge and head toward homes below. It?s clear there is some concern and worry over which way the fire will spread and that?s contingent on the weather and just how much fire crews can do to douse and contain the spread of flames. During the fire?s burn since Wednesday, crews were only containing 20 percent. The fire?s rural location no doubt makes it difficult to get a handle on it, so that?s why it?s so important that more resources are being sent to help stop its path. On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown sent additional state resources through the California Emergency Management Agency to assist in the Robbers Fire fight. And the real resources that are truly worth taxpayer money are the men and women in gear fighting the fire on the front lines in extreme heat, organizing a plan of attack at the command post, dropping retardant and water from above, dispatchers helping coordinate and more. The work done by crews the past few days and in the days to come is to be commended and thanked. We hope as Cal Fire begins to collect its controversial $150 rural fee from residents ? a fee that faces a potential court battle ? that money goes toward the on-the-ground resources that help protect businesses, residents and their homes.