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Sundance Fire Closes Road 420, Prompts Evacuations

OAKHURST – A fire burning along Road 420 just off Highway 41 on the south side of Deadwood has prompted road closures and evacuations.

Just after 3:30 p.m. today, several reports came in of a smoke just south of Road 420 at Sundance Drive, about 1/2 mile east of Highway 41.

Sundance Fire burning on south side of Road 420The first few engines on scene attacked the fire as it burned into the roadway just east of Sundance. As additional engines arrived, they staged throughout the neighborhood providing structure protection and starting to work on the fire as it spread through the vegetation between homes.

CHP immediately closed down Road 420 from Highway 41 to allow quick and safe access for fire equipment as it arrived at scene.

Sheriff’s deputies went door to door along Sundance, Paulson and other roads in the immediate area, notifying residents to evacuate. Those along Cavin Lane were given pre-evacuation notices, and told to be prepared to leave should it become necessary. Cavin Road was closed to all but residents.

Officers also set up on Road 223 at the east end of Road 420 (Thornberry) to block traffic from entering the area, as equipment was also using that road to access the fire area.

Structure protection at Sundance Fire - photo by Gina ClugstonThree helicopters and two air tankers, guided by Air Attack, hit the fire from above. At least one dozer was offloaded for line construction, as ground crews rolled in for their assignments.

Residents who lined the roadway to watch the progress of the fire were asked to leave so that retardant could be laid down along the northern edge of the fire on Road 420.

At about 5:20, the Incident Commander reported that the fire had spotted across to the north of Road 420, and ordered up additional resources, including one more strike team of Type 3 engines, plus more water tenders and hand crews. At 5:38, he reported that the spot fire had been contained (not the main fire, just the spot on the north side of the road).

Engines along Road 420 at Sundance FireEveryone is advised to avoid the area as fire crews need unimpeded access to all roads, and Sheriff’s deputies and CHP Officers are keeping everyone out.

There are many homes threatened in the area, though we do not have an exact number, and no structures have been lost.

Engines from Cal Fire, Madera County Fire and the US Forest Service are at scene. The fire was most recently reported as holding at 10 acres. The cause is not known at this time.

**UPDATE: 7:25 p.m. – The Sheriff’s Office reports that evacuation orders due to the Sundance Fire on Road 420 near Hwy 41 will be lifted at 8 p.m. tonight. After 8:00, residents only will be allowed to return to their homes. The evacuation area will remain closed to non-residents for the night. It is anticipated that the roads will be opened at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning for routine traffic.**

Firefighters working the Sundance Fire

 

 

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