Storm leads to crashes but no end to fire season

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Slick roads contributed to a rash of spinouts and wayward autos overnight Friday as the Auburn-area foothills was buffeted by the first rainstorm of the season. The National Weather Service recorded just more than half-an-inch of rain between the first drops that fell in Auburn at midday Friday and late Saturday afternoon. That was well above the tenth of an inch recorded at Sacramento International Airport and well below the 1.94 inches of rain measured at Blue Canyon in the Sierra. There were no reports of snow in the Sierra along the Interstate 80 corridor during a storm that gained momentum just as motorists were making their way home during the evening commute Friday. A Foresthill driver was one of several motorists who ended up off the road. Nineteen-year-old Anastasia Degmetich lost control of her car on a Foresthill Road curve. The car hit a curb, rolled over and slid down an embankment. Don Scholl, Foresthill resident California Highway Patrol officer, said Degmetich was driving too fast for road conditions. She was able to crawl out of the car and walk away but was transported to hospital by ambulance with what were described by Scholl as moderate injuries. The accident occurred at about 5 p.m., shortly after a nearby crash at Foresthill Road and Pelm Lane that sent another woman to hospital with minor injuries. Scholl said the woman slowed with other traffic as a school bus stopped ahead but not fast enough to avoid rear-ending a truck. Saturday morning also saw a spate of vehicular miscues. At just after 7 a.m., a van slid off the road and up an embankment on Auburn Folsom Road and Verdant Lane. No injuries were reported. Around the same time, a spinout with no damage was reported along eastbound Interstate 80 near Highway 49 in Auburn. Fire prevention authorities are warning backyard burners that the summer ban on fires is still in effect. Cal Fire information officer Chelsea Fox said that the weekend storm is a good sign but that fire season is still not over. Sunny weather and warmer temperatures are back in the forecast for today and the immediate future. “It’s going to take two or three inches of rain to saturate the fuel load,” Fox said. “With the warming trend and some dry winds from the north, we could be back in the heat of the fire season.” The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at