As we’re approaching the second anniversary of the 49 fire in Auburn that burned 343 acres and destroyed 62 homes, the Placer county Gran Jury has come out with a report finding the response, recovery and investigation of that fire were effective and has no recommendations. Cal Fire Nevada Yuba Placer Unit Chief, Brad Harris says it was windy and hot when the fire broke out, started by an arsonist.
“The conditions that day were very hot, very dry and very windy, so we had a rapidly expanding fire immediately threatening structures. So the incident commander started ordering equipment based on the threat that he had at that time and approximately 20-30 minutes later, a second fire was intentionally started a quarter of a mile away.”
Chief Harris says the arson investigation of the 49 Fire is still ongoing.
“It’s a criminal investigation. We’re following up on every lead that we can. Obviously there’s a person or persons that potentially set this fire.”
Chief Harris says arson is a very difficult crime to prove but Cal Fire investigators have a good success rate. He says they are “just searching for that one final lead” that can lead them in the direction to arrest and convict the person that started this fire. The 49 Fire broke out on August 30th of 2009at the corner of Rock Creek and Hwy 49, causing estimated structural loss of $40 million.