EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — The Sliger Fire sparked just after 3 p.m. Tuesday and raced up the foothills towards homes.
Officials immediately placed mandatory evacuation orders for homes on Sliger Mine Road, initially started at 20 acres and grew to 70 by late evening.
“I was in Sacramento when the fire broke out and I got a phone call, ‘fire is on the way and it’s near your house,’” said Stina McDaniel. “My concern was the animals, they wouldn’t let me in for my animals.”
Many people racing home to save their livestock were shut out by road closures.
“We have horses out there that we need to get out,” said Justin Schram who’s family has a historic home along the evacuated road.
Others already inside the evacuation zone worked to round up what they could, many deciding to wait it out.
“I was putting my camper on my truck and getting horse trailer and the horses and take care of the livestock,” said Mr. Wilson who packed up his three horses.
The terrain is made it especially difficult for firefighters to get in and out through the rural road.
”Sliger Mine Road is just about 1 1/2 cars wide, so imagine a fire engine or bulldozer transport drive down this road,” said Brice Bennett with Cal Fire.
Firefighters major concern was keeping the fire from jumping the American River into Placer County.
“We had crews positioned on the other side as well to fight the fire and ready to respond in case that did occur,” he said.
Air tankers were already in the area fighting the North Fire when they were diverted here.
“We had a tremendous amount of air power on this fire giving those crews more time to get in on the ground,” Bennett said.
Pictures taken from a Cal Fire aircraft show how tankers used lines of retardant to keep the fire from spreading up the steep canyon walls.
Homeowners are just grateful for the quick response from firefighters rushing to save their homes.
“I’ve been praying for them all day ever since I heard about the fire,” Mr. Wilson said.
Crews will continue strengthening containment lines through the night but lifted the mandatory evacuation orders in El Dorado County and at 8 p.m. they had 20 percent containment. The Placer County evacuations will remain through the night.