Fire crews made “good progress” Thursday battling the Ramsey Fire, which was 45 percent contained by nighttime, officials said.
A total of 1,150 acres have been burned, which was the same estimate given early Thursday morning.
There were also 16 structures still listed as threatened in the area of the fire, which broke out Saturday afternoon as the result of an escaped campfire near the North Fork of the Stanislaus River about 11 miles east of Dorrington.
Pre-evacuation notices had been made to residents along portions of Highway 4, Big Meadow Campground and Camp Wolfboro, but there hasn’t been any full-scale evacuations.
Crews would continue working throughout the night, according to the South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team, which took over command and control duties from the U.S. Forest Service on Tuesday night.
Heavy lift helicopters have been assisting firefighters on the ground by dropping fire retardant to limit the fire’s movement west. Fire retardant reduces flammability and has a greater effect on the fire than water, according to an incident management team statement.
A portable retardant plant was established in the Bear Valley area Wednesday so that aircraft wouldn’t have to travel to the Columbia airport to replenish supplies.
Steep terrain and limited access along the Stanislaus River is a major concern and is making construction of a direct fire line difficult.
There were still 379 firefighters battling the blaze Thursday evening.
Three firefighters have been injured so far. One suffered heat stroke and two others reacted to bee stings. All of them were treated and released.
People driving on Highway 4 are being told to expect delays. A portion of the roadway was being temporarily closed in order to accommodate fire equipment and to ensure public safety.
Residents and visitors are being advised that smoke is heaviest during the morning and at dusk.
The Calaveras County Public Health Department issued a statement Tuesday advising residents to stay inside whenever possible in order to avoid breathing in fine particles brought by wildfire smoke.