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Soaring temperatures, winds fanning fire danger in the foothills

Firefighters contain 50-acre grass fire in Lincoln
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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As of early Thursday evening, the Auburn area managed to make it through a day unscathed where some areas saw wildfires and record high temperatures. “We’ve had a couple vegetation fires today,” said Gina Chamberlain, Cal Fire public information officer. Crews contained a 50-acre grass fire in Lincoln today, according to Chamberlain. The fire occurred off Athens Boulevard. The cause remains under investigation, Chamberlain said. There was another fire in Colfax and one at which the Dry Creek fire department responded to, but Chamberlain did not have details as of press time. She said the fire in Lincoln was the largest one in the area as of Thursday afternoon. The area was under a red flag warning yesterday. Chamberlain anticipated that warning could continue into today. She said the warning was in place because of high temperatures combined with current winds, and dry grass and vegetation. Chamberlain said Thursday’s weather conditions were unusual for this time of year. “This type of weather and how dry it is, we normally see this at the end of June or the beginning of July,” Chamberlain said. Chamberlain asked that homeowners learn how to create defensible space around their homes to prevent fire damage. “If we can get the public to work on their defensible space, they’re helping us do our job,” Chamberlain said. Pacific Gas and Electric Company also issued a request that critical peak pricing customers voluntarily conserve as much energy as possible this week. Critical hours are been noon and 6 p.m. The company issued a press release that stating it does not anticipate power supply shortages this week, but expects to see higher electricity demands this month. The company suggests setting air-conditioning thermostats at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting. Other suggestions include cooling off with a fan, drawing the drapes, turning off unnecessary lights and appliances, and using big appliances in the early day or late night. The Journal's Jenifer Gee can be reached at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com or post a comment.