Sonora, CA — According to Lt. Dan Bressler of the Tuolumne County Sheriff´s Department, voluntary evacuations of 25 homes in the Yankee Hill-Boye Mine Rd. area are being conducted. Evacuation guide help is offered on MyMotherLode.com by clicking here.
Yankee Hill Rd. and Orion Mine Rd. are closed in addition to Big Hill Rd. at Five Mile Creek Rd.
The fire, near Columbia, has covered approximately 30-35 acres. It is now listed as five percent contained with full containment expected by noon today.
Ground crews are working in conjunction with 17 engines, four dozers, eight hand crews, three water tenders, Air Attack and Helicopter 404 from the Columbia Air Base.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Harvesters of an illegal marijuana garden were present when the fire started- they then fled the scene leaving behind partially harvested plants as well as fire arms. At present no suspects are in custody. Tuolumne County has now spent $1.5 million in suppressing marijuana garden fires this year according to CAL FIRE´s Barbara George.
Written by Bill Johnson