Local fires: 8,000 people evacuated, 30-40 structures burned

(Credit: Amber Jo Manuel’s Facebook page)

The Lobo fire, estimated at 900 acres, has resulted in 30 to 40 burned structures, and 8,000 people have been evacuated, according to the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services.

The fire is threatening 7,000-8,000 homes in Lake Wildwood, according to fire officials. The McCourtney fire has burned 80 acres. Large animals are being evacuated to the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

The 7,200-acre Cascade Fire also is burning in neighboring Yuba County, and another 2,000 people have been evacuated.

Governor Brown issued an emergency proclamation for Nevada, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, and Orange counties due to the effects of multiple fires. “Due to the Lobo and McCourtney Fires in Nevada County, we will be declaring a Local Emergency Proclamation at tomorrow’s Board of Supervisors meeting,” the County said.

The link for real-time reports on KNCO is HERE. The Cal Fire Twitter feed is HERE, and Nevada County Office of Emergency Services is HERE. On Facebook, people are offering room in their homes to evacuees, including us.

(Credit: Cal Fire)

Most schools were closed. “This is Superintendent Louise Johnson with an important message for the Nevada Joint Union High School District.  Due to transportation interruption and evacuations because of the Logo and McCourtney fires, all schools in the Nevada Joint Union High School District are closed today, October 9, 2017.  We will update you as we know more.  Be safe and take care of your families.”

“Hello Ghidotti Families, I wanted to let you know that the Nevada County Campus of Sierra College is closed, so there will be now high school or college classes today, October 9. This is due to the fires. Stay safe and please let me know if there’s anything we can do,
Mr. Levinson”

Lobo fire burns near Lake Wildwood (Credit: Christopher Seal’s Facebook page)

Evacuation centers for evacuees are at Twin Cities Church (273-6425), First Baptist Church (273-7301), and Grace Lutheran Church (273-7043).

This map shows general evacuation zones (green is the evacuation area, and yellow is the evacuation advisory):


Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

19 thoughts on “Local fires: 8,000 people evacuated, 30-40 structures burned”

  1. I know your bias against The Union, but I must compliment them… they were posting information about the McCourtney fire starting at 12:42am and have been providing continuous updates on all of the fires ever since. Even started posting pictures at 12:52am!

  2. Ben,
    It’s not a “bias.” It’s an observation of The Union’s mediocre real-time fire coverage for years as a resident. And as a resident who also has been a journalist with 35 years with The Chronicle, the internet-pioneer CNET (sold to CBS for $2 billion), New York Times stringer, etc. The Union should be so fortunate to have that kind of experience on its staff. 😉 As for its fire coverage, it’s never too late to “turn over a new leaf.” Stay safe!

    1. Ben,
      Since you’re so proud of The Union’s fire coverage, maybe you could explain why it’s still behind a “firewall.” (No pun intended). That’s not what most newspapers do in an instance like this.

      1. Wow… because I wanted to compliment The Union for their streaming coverage of the local fires, you assume I was “proud” of The Union. Seemed to me they had the best coverage (at the beginning of the files) along with YubaNet.com. They have their problems just like every other media outlet. And later in the day the streaming content on The Union site was filled with useless comments and questions from posters that could have been answered by simply reading the earlier postings listed there. (Also, you do not have to have an account with The Union, nor be logged in, to read the streaming fire news: http://www.theunion.com/news/the-union-now-live-streaming-from-the-newsroom-2/)

      2. The articles about the fire, like this one, are behind a “firewall”: http://www.theunion.com/news/local-news/lobo-mccourtney-fires-destroy-and-damage-homes-causes-unknown/ Most newspapers don’t do that. Details here: https://gigaom.com/2012/10/29/journalism-vs-commerce-when-is-the-news-important-enough-to-drop-a-paywall/ The streaming coverage is more a collection of social media posts, including one from YubaNet and “citizen journalists,” I would certainly hope this content wouldn’t be behind a paywall. The community is outgrowing The Union, thanks to social media and more demanding and sophisticated readers.

      3. Of course, if you grew up in a little burg like Harvey, Ill., you probably think The Union is the “cat’s meow.” Not very sophisticated. To each his own. Our community is an all-white “melting pot,” to be sure.

  3. I just heard on the scanner that they are now turning cars around at Ridge Road and Rough and Ready. The requesting person says the whole area is becoming a parking lot.

  4. Thanks Steve. I heard that too. Here is a press release from the Fairgrounds:

    Nevada County Fairgrounds Becomes a Command Post and Fire Camp for Cal Fire, Animal Evacuation Center

    Due to fires currently burning in Nevada County and surrounding communities, Cal Fire and assisting agencies have set up a command post and fire camp at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Additionally, the Nevada County Veterinary Disaster Response Team has set up an evacuation center at the Fairgrounds for large and small animals.

    During the duration that the camp is set up, Gate 1 will be open to Fair employees and Fair business (those visiting the Fairgrounds’ administration office) only, Gate 4 will be open to campers, Gate 8 will be open for animal evacuations, and all other gates will be closed to the public and restricted to authorized fire personnel only.

    These closures and restrictions do not affect the Main Office, which is open during its normal business hours. Additionally, limited RV camping will be available by contacting the Main Office at (530) 273-6217.

    Evacuation centers for evacuees are at Twin Cities Church (273-6425) and First Baptist Church (273-7301), both in Grass Valley. The Nevada County Fairgrounds has not been designated as an evacuation center for evacuees because the Fairgrounds are being set up as a fire camp for Cal Fire, which means that Cal Fire will use the grounds and the buildings as a camp for firefighters and as a command center for fires in our community and surrounding areas.

    During this time, the Nevada County Fairgrounds is also being used as an evacuation center for small and large animals. The Fairgrounds are open and equipped to handle large and small animals brought to the Fairgrounds. Dozens of animals are already on the grounds, and the Fairgrounds will continue to receive and house animals as needed. Those with animals impacted by the fire, or those who need to remove animals to a safer location, are encouraged to use the Fairgrounds. If you need information or have questions regarding animal evacuations, contact the Nevada County Veterinary Disaster Response Team at (530) 913-6506.

    For updated fire information and evacuation updates, visit Cal Fire’s website at http://www.fire.ca.gov.

  5. This is from Pam Roberts’ Facebook page:
    Update from NCSA- Nevada City School of the Arts: Dear Families,
    Given the limited information I have, and the fact that so many families and staff are currently displaced, I am calling off school tomorrow. The fire continues to burn on the backside of campus near Kentucky Ridge and Deer Creek While it is on our property, I know that the fire department and air support are doing everything they can to protect the school. So far there has been no damage to buildings.
    I will keep you updated as I learn more.
    To all those families who have lost homes or are being evacuated, we wish you strength and courage.
    We will get through this,

  6. From Nevada County Office of Emergency Services Facebook page:
    “Due to the Lobo and McCourtney Fires in Nevada County, we will be declaring a Local Emergency Proclamation at tomorrow’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Emergency Proclamations assist the County in responding to and receiving funding for local emergencies. Today the State of California included Nevada County in a multi-county emergency declaration due to the fires happening statewide.”

  7. From the Governor’s’ office:
    Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an emergency proclamation for Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Orange counties due to the effects of multiple fires, including the Cherokee, LaPorte, Sulphur, Potter, Cascade, Lobo and Canyon fires, which have damaged critical infrastructure, threatened homes and caused the evacuation of residents.

    The Governor also requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to support the state and local response to fires burning in Northern California, following the emergency proclamation issued earlier today for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

  8. Good Morning,
    This is Superintendent Louise Johnson with an important message for the Nevada Joint Union High School District. Due to ongoing interruptions in transportation and continued evacuation of significant numbers of students and staff due to our local fires, all schools in the Nevada Joint Union High School District will be closed on Tuesday, October 10, 2017. We will continue to update you as more information becomes available. Stay safe and take care of your families.

    1. According to who? KCRA has reported that. I’ve seen no other report. In speaking with friends, they’re still out. Downed power lines are still a problem.

      1. Hi Chris,
        Nevada County OES. A voluntary evacuation is still in force, but the mandatory one has been lifted.

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