Robbers Fire spares most of state recreation area

Mineral Bar campground remains closed
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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The Robber?s Fire may have claimed 2,650 acres so far, but most of the Auburn State Recreation Area has been spared from its path of destruction, according to Supervising Ranger Scott Liske. Among the areas that have been impacted by the wildfire are steep slopes near Devil?s Waterfall, located on the Foresthill side of Yankee Jims Road. ?The fire burned very hot there, so there is no vegetation left to hold back the soil,? Liske said. ?If we get some significant rain this winter, I can foresee some issues there.? Mineral Bar Campground also remains closed, along with its access road, Iowa Hill Road, according to Officer David Martinez, public information officer for the Auburn California Highway Patrol, based in Newcastle. Liske said the 17-site campground could be open by as early as this weekend. The recreational area along the length of Yankee Jims Road is also closed, he added. Other areas are open for recreating as usual, including Lake Clementine and the American River Confluence. The Tahoe Sierra 100, a mountain bike race, weaved through the state recreation area over the weekend without any impact from the Robbers Fire, Liske said. Betty Lopez, office and reservations manager for W.E.T. River Trips, said while wildfires are an annual concern, the Robbers Fire has not impacted whitewater rafting trips for the company at all. Their routes run along the middle and south forks of the American River. ?It?s a big source of worry every year. It was a dry year. We didn?t have a big snowpack. Anytime the wind is blowing you worry,? Lopez said. ?It (the Robbers Fire) hasn?t affected us one bit. The South Fork doesn?t even have any smoke.? With the fire at 50 percent containment and a cold front rolling through on Tuesday, Liske said there would likely be a big improvement in air-quality, too. He urges people spending time in the state recreation area to follow all fire safety rules and guidelines. ?We don?t allow ground fires anywhere except in a campground in the fire ring,? Liske said. ?It is a no-barbeque season (in day use areas). Be mindful of where you park your car. Don?t park on dry grass where parts of your exhaust system might start a fire.? Reach Sara Seyydin at, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.