COLFAX (CBS13) — A day after the River Fire sparked in Nevada and Placer counties, firefighters feel they’ve made good progress on the flames.
Few active flames could be seen, but charred trees and grass were abundant. Crackling flames on smoldering trees were among the sights near the Chicago Park area in Nevada County. The historic general store and school were both still standing. But not far away, what looks to have been a home was diminished to rubble and a nearby truck was left torched.READ MORE: Blind Youth Football Player In Modesto Scores Touchdown In Team's Win
Sights like this are rare for the community.
“It was really close,” said Linda Hartman, calling it too close to home.
Colfax locals like her finally ventured out on Thursday, after dealing with a hectic day prior.
“This is probably the biggest fire I’ve seen close to town,” she said.
Colfax Mayor Sean Lomen can say the same. He’s also a firefighter on the frontlines and always awaited the day he’d get the call his community caught fire.
“The fuel growth has been monumental,” Lomen said, fearing catastrophic loss would come if dry fuel met its match.READ MORE: Pedestrian Suffers Serious Injuries After Being Hit By Car In Sacramento
An expert pyro-geographer at UC Merced, Dr. Crystal Kolden, tweeted called the specific area was “one of the highest risk areas in the state.”
Despite the loss of several structures, Cal Fire said air attacks were critical to keeping it from exploding any further.
“Much of our success yesterday was because of that air attack,” said Chief Brian Estes.
A day later, crews could be seen mopping up as people await the return to their homes to see what may be left.
Mayor Lomen said he feels good on the frontlines, but hopes there’s help to keep this from happening again.
“Getting out there and having the state do a lot of the fuel work they promised and offered is the only thing that’s going to help stop these fires,” Lomen said.MORE NEWS: Wildfire Smoke Returns To Region As Folsom Renaissance Faire Returns
Lomen said he’s devastated for all those who lost their homes, but thankfully there hasn’t been any loss of life.