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Update: Airola Fire On Parrotts Ferry Road Near Bridge Explodes

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Update Aug 25 at 7:15 p.m.: CAL Fire reports the Airola Fire still has no containment and remains an estimated 1,000 acres. Dispatch details that at this time there are no reports of injuries, structures damaged or destroyed and the flames forward rate has not been stopped. Crews will work on that overnight with the milder temperatures while continuing to construct containment lines around the blaze. (Day 2 fire details and updates are here.

The fire started around 3:30 p.m. in the Stanislaus River Canyon near the Parrots Ferry Bridge and the banks of Melones Lake on the Calaveras County side. It quickly spread east toward Vallecito and Highway 49. Parrotts Ferry Road is closed at the highway and all the way to the bridge/Tuolumne County line. Evacuation details are listed below along with power outages. Additionally, there are two evacuation centers:

  • Mark Twain El 646 Stanislaus Ave Angels Camp, CA
  • Independence Hall (Arnold) 1445 Blagen Road Arnold, CA
Animal Shelters:
  • Calaveras County Animal Services (San Andreas) 901 Jeff Tuttle Drive Domestic animals small livestock e.g llamas, pigs, sheep, horses
  • Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp 2465 Gun Club Road Large Animals Only

Update at 6:40 p.m.: CAL Fire reports crews are getting a handle on the Airola Fire and as the picture in the image box shows the plume of smoke has died down. The blaze remains 1,000 acres and there is zero containment. The area where it broke out is in rough terrain and not easy to reach on foot.  There are power outages affecting 331 PG&E customers.  In the Vallecito area, 283 are without lights with the utility giving an estimated restoration time of 8:15 p.m. Also, along Parrotts Ferry Road 48 homes have no electricity, and the estimated repair time of 6 a.m.

Mandatory Evacuations, meaning residents should immediately leave their homes,  are in place from the bridge, along Airola Road, and stretching along Parrotts Ferry Road to the highway, including Moaning Cave Road, Camp 9, Confluence Road, and east of Red Hill Road.

Evacuations Warnings have been issued for Douglas Flat and Murphys, meaning residents should be prepared to leave their homes.

An evacuation center has been set up at Mark Twain Elementary School in Angels Camp.

Update at 5:45 p.m.: CAL Fire reports the Airola Fire remains 1,000 acres and there is zero containment. It started around 3:30 p.m. in the Stanislaus River Canyon near the Parrots Ferry Bridge and the banks of Melones Lake.

There are power outages in the fire area. In Vallecito 283 PG&E customers are without power and along Parrotts Ferry Road there are 48. The estimated repair times are between 6 and 8 p.m.

Evacuation orders can be viewed below. An evacuation center is being set up at Mark Twain Elementary School in Angels Camp.

Update at 5:15 p.m.: CAL Fire reports that “firefighters are working aggressively to attack the 700-acre” Airola Fire along Parrots Ferry Road and north of the bridge. The fire’s fast-moving flames are headed towards Vallecito and Highway 4  in Calaveras County.

Mandatory Evacuations, meaning residents should immediately leave their homes,  are in place from the bridge, along Airola Road, and stretching along Parrotts Ferry Road to the highway, including Moaning Cave Road, Camp 9, Confluence Road, and east of Red Hill Road.

Evacuations Warnings have been issued for Douglas Flat and Murphys, meaning residents should be prepared to leave their homes.

Additionally, Columbia College says Campus Safety will be keeping an eye on the status of the fire and will notify students if the college is affected.

Road closures include all of Parrotts Ferry Road from Highway 4 to the bridge/Tuolumne County line.

Update at 4:35 p.m.: CAL Fire dispatch tells Clarke Broadcasting that the Airola Fire burning along Parrotts Ferry Road from the bridge to Highway 4 in Calaveras County is 300 to 500 acres in size and “has the potential to grow to 2,000 to 3,000 acres. Calaveras County Sheriff’s spokesperson LT. Greg Stark reports that the community of Murphys is now under an Evacuation Warning along with Douglas Flat. Homes along Airola Road stretching along Parrotts Ferry Road to Highway 4 including Moaning Cave Road, Camp 9, Confluence Road, and east of Red Hill Road are Mandatory Evacuations.

The CHP has shut down Parrotts Ferry Road from Highway 4 to the bridge/Tuolumne County line.

Update at 4:15 p.m.: Calaveras County Sheriff’s spokesperson LT. Greg Stark says homes along Airola Road stretching along Parrotts Ferry Road to Highway 4 including Moaning Cave Road, Camp 9, Confluence Road, and east of Red Hill Road are Mandatory Evacuations. This means residents should leave their homes immediately. There is also an evacuation warning for the community of Douglas Flat. The fire remains 300 acres in size and moving at a rapid pace towards Highway 4 and Vallecito.

The CHP has closed Parrotts Ferry Road at the Tuolumne County line side of the bridge all the way to Highway 4.

Update at 3:45 p.m.: CAL Fire has dubbed the blaze the Airola Fire as it is burning along the roadway and Parrotts Ferry Road. It is 300 acres and moving at a fast pace. Homes along those roadways towards Vallecito including Confluence Road are being evacuated by Calaveras County Sheriff’s Deputies.

The CHP has closed Parrotts Ferry Road at the Tuolumne County line side of the bridge all the way to Highway 4.

Original post at 3:20 p.m.: Calaveras County, CA — Air and ground resources are responding to a vegetation fire near New Melones Lake.

It is along Parrotts Ferry Road about a half-mile north of the bridge on the Calaveras County side near the bank of the lake. CAL Fire reports it is 25 acres and moving at a “rapid rate.” Dispatch adds that evacuation of that area have been ordered. An update will be provided as soon as new information comes into the newsroom.

Thanks to our community news partners, Melinda Leonard, Richard Treadway, Lori Green, Tori James and Suzanne Boynton for their photos.

  • Airola Fire in Calaveras County 7:15 p.m
  • Airola Fire in Calaveras County 6:35 p.m.
  • Aerial view of Airola Fire in Calaveras County
  • Airola Fire in Calaveras County causes PG&E outages
  • Airola ire Richard Treadway
  • Airola fire by Lori E. Green
  • Airola fire Lori E. Green

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